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socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 38507
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I am board member of a non profit Christian church Can we

Customer Question

I am board member of a non profit Christian church
Can we prevent or stop a Muslim or a non Christian person from attending mass or any kind of party , lunch ,dinner or any kind of gathering on the church property
Is there a law preventing or accepting this
I would like to read about it and inform the community
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 months ago.

At present, a bona fide church (place of worship) can prohibit anyone from participating by deeming the person a trespasser. No reason for the prohibition is required, and the government cannot interfere, because to do so would be to violate the free exercise of religion clause of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Here's a law review article that discusses public accommodations, and, among other things, why churches have traditionally been exempt.

However, there is a great deal of controversy about this issue, given recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and government regulations. Unfortunately, there is no resolution to the questions raised.

Here's an article on a recent Iowa controversy.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
if a an existing member brings a Muslim or non Christian person to mass or an event whether it's private dinner or gathering
Can the board kick the person out because he is Muslim
Or is that against the law
Remember this a non protlfit church
Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 months ago.

The board can remove the person, not because he is a muslim, but simply because he is a trespasser. That is, the board doesn't need a reason to remove someone from the church. The board can remove anyone at will.

If it were a restaurant, theater, hotel, auditorium, airport, etc., it would violate the person's civil rights. But, a church, as a place of worship for a particular sect, is protected -- it is not a public accommodation subject to the civil rights act.

Note: I'm not taking a political position, here. Federal law does not include churches in the definition of "public accommodations." 42 U.S.C. 12187.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

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Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 months ago.

Hello again,

I see that you have reviewed my answer, but that you have not provided a rating. Do you need any further clarification concerning my answer, or is everything satisfactory?

If you need further clarification, concerning this matter, please feel free to ask. If not, I would greatly appreciate a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) – otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.
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