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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:09 pm 
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Found this on Rev. Danny Fisher's blog:

WALNUT - A U.S. District Court judge could determine Thursday whether a federal civil rights suit filed against the city has enough merit to proceed.

The U.S. Justice Department alleges Walnut discriminated against a Buddhist group when city officials denied its request to build a worship center.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Jan. 13.

"There was no discrimination," said City Attorney Mike Montgomery. "We're wasting everybody's time. What the federal government wants is (for us to) obey the government in the future, which we were doing anyway, so we don't really understand the necessity of a lawsuit."

The U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division sued Walnut in September, accusing the city of discriminating against the Chung Tai Zen Center group in January 2008 when it rejected the group's permit to build a 16,000-square-foot house of worship on a 2.2-acre site it owned on Marcon Drive.

Read More Here...

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:34 pm 
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SIGH, reading more of the article it does look like a clear case of discrimination.

:sage:

I hope they have a positive outcome form their lawsuit.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:16 pm 
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Hopefully their difficulties will prevent other Buddhist centers from experiencing similar difficulties in the future by bringing attention to them.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:53 am 
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"Justice Department officials claim federal law overrides state practices".

i would be very wary of the DOJ's "officals" claims. Complete color of law with this statement.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:09 am 
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These cases seem to pop up coast-to-coast in the US, by no means an isolated occurance, but there's usually one common denominator: a rezoning issue involving residential property.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Dharmakara wrote:
These cases seem to pop up coast-to-coast in the US, by no means an isolated occurance, but there's usually one common denominator: a rezoning issue involving residential property.


The question is whether or not Christian and other churches and such run into the same issues with the same frequency, or if in their case such issues are overlooked.

I doubt zen centers are having as much of a problem as Islamic ones though.

-M

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:21 pm 
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Very true... it's rarely ever a case of "equal discrimation under the law", so to speak.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:59 am 
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Came across this on the Buddhist Channel last week, not discrimination per se, but still a little concerned:

County officials meet with Buddhist monks

Bolivia, NC (USA) -- The news that the Wat Carolina Buddhist monastery in Bolivia would be hosting a conference of about 100 monks in June apparently raised a few eyebrows in the county government.

A group of officials, including a building inspector and fire marshal, and representatives of the environmental health, storm water and planning departments, visited leaders of the monastery on Tuesday to learn more about their plans and pass along what would be required of them, county zoning administrator Helen Bunch said.

“We came out with a better understanding,” she said, noting that the meeting went well.

She said that the monastery will have to put together a site plan of the permanent buildings and where the teepees are being built, as well as submit internal building layouts. Some permits might also be required.

Bunch said that the intent of the meeting was never to shut them down, but to find out how the county could help.

http://buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=61,9810,0,0,1,0


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