January 2017 Church & State - January 2017

NY Town And Sikh Temple Settle Lawsuit

  AU admin

Construction of a partially built Sikh temple in a New York town will continue in light of a legal settlement.

Members of the Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Center reached an agreement with officials in the town of Oyster Bay in November. The congregation sued the town in June after it was ordered to stop building its temple.

In its lawsuit, the congregation argued that the town violated its religious freedom and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act when it suspended the construction in February and ordered an environmental review. Members of the temple alleged that the town did not subject other houses of worship to that standard of review.

Because of that, the group viewed the original halting of the construction as “an obvious case of prejudice” against Sikhs, Paul Savad, an attorney for the center, told NBC News.

“There was an injustice done because for about a year or so now, they’ve been unable to practice their religion at that location,” Savad said.

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