Cheltenham, PA – Police in a Pennsylvania township began monitoring a property purchased by a church while local officials threatened $500 per day fines, claiming that use of the land was illegal. The First Korean Church of New York was denied permission to use a property which it purchased in a sheriff’s sale in the Township of Cheltenham for use as a seminary and to hold small church services. The property was previously used as a seminary campus by another organization. The land, zoned for residential use, is more than 30 acres and has a 110 room mansion and another 44 room hall. Now in disrepair, these structures were built more than 100 years ago for an industrialist during what is known as the “Gilded Age.”
Venice, FL – The Code Enforcement Board of the City of Venice ended months of legal wrangling today against a family for having an unauthorized "house of worship" in their home. Shane and Marlene Roessiger host a prayer meeting on Friday nights with 6-10 people normally in attendance. City officials made a finding that the Roessigers hold a prayer meeting at their residence once per week and as such ordered them to come into compliance with the City's Code which does not allow a "house of worship" on a property of less than two acres. In addition to the prayer meeting, the family was cited for having a sign which read "Need Prayer (941) 484-4915." The Roessigers faced fines of $250 per day for the violations. At the advice of the City Attorney, the Board voted 6-0 to drop the two matters at a hearing today.
Sacramento, CA – Over the weekend, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a controversial ban on counseling and therapy for youth that is not affirming of same-sex attraction.
Pacific Justice Institute has led the fight against SB 1172 since its introduction in the spring by Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance). PJI attorneys attended all of the bill’s policy committee hearings and warned legislators that it was an unconstitutional restriction on the First Amendment, privacy, and parental rights. PJI attorneys anticipated yesterday's enactment of the bill and will be filing a federal lawsuit on Monday, October 1, in Sacramento.
PJI Launches Campaign to Seek Sanctions Against Double-Crossing DOJ Attorneys in Defense of Marriage Act Cases
Sacramento, CA -- The Pacific Justice Institute is announcing the launch of a nationwide grassroots campaign to seek official sanctions against Department of Justice attorneys who have changed sides in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) cases.
“Government lawyers are essentially rising from the table for counsel for the defendant, walking across the courtroom and sitting down at the plaintiff’s table. These attorneys are now seeking to have judgment taken against the party that they represent – the United States,” said Kevin Snider, chief counsel of PJI who is spearheading the effort. “What the DOJ has done would be unthinkable for any other lawyers, and raises serious concerns that professional rules and ethics are being violated.”
Venice, FL - A family in Venice, Florida, is facing fines of $250 per day for having an unauthorized "house of worship" in their home. Shane and Marlene Roessiger host a prayer meeting on Friday nights with 6-10 people normally in attendance. City officials made a finding that the Roessigers hold a prayer meeting at their residence once per week and as such ordered them to come into compliance with the City's Code which does not allow a "house of worship" on a property of less than 2 acres.
The Roessigers head a small ministry called In Him Healing Touch Ministries. Like many small nonprofits, they initially chose to get mail at their home instead of renting out a post office box. Venice Code Enforcement officials are using the listing of the residence as the ministry's address to build a case against the Roessigers. In addition to prayer and Bible study, the ministry has food outreaches in the community and engages in foreign missions work. The latter includes ministering to people living in garbage dumps through providing meals and religious services.
Mountain View, CA - Constitutional lawyers are warning a Silicon Valley city not to discriminate against restaurant chain Chick-fil-A because of its recent statement in support for traditional marriage.
Chick-fil-A has received both threats from big city politicians and overwhelming support from customers over the past two weeks because of its strong pro-marriage stance. Now, the issue is coming to a head in Silicon Valley, where the city of Mountain View is being asked to reconsider permits for the opening of a new Chick-fil-A. Less than a month ago, just before the nationwide controversy erupted, a zoning official in Mountain View granted a conditional use permit (CUP) for a new site. That decision has now been appealed to the Mountain View City Council by two different groups, at least one of which is pointing to the restaurant’s traditional values as grounds for reconsideration.