Although Catholics are not affected by the ban on church services in public schools on Sundays, we stand with our Protestant and Jewish brothers who are being denied their First Amendment right to religious liberty. We also commend Mayor de Blasio for taking a principled stand in favor of this First Amendment right.
No one’s rights are being violated when taxpaying New Yorkers seek access to public buildings for religious services when they are not in use; they even pay rent. The federal appeals panel that overruled a lower court ruling allowing church services in the schools may not be the final word on this dispute.
This ruling does not order the city to ban these religious groups from having access to the schools; it simply has the right to do so. Two steps are now necessary: this decision should be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court; and Mayor de Blasio should reverse the ban that was issued by the Department of Education under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. We urge Mayor de Blasio to do just that.
Contact Mayor de Blasio’s Press Office: firstname.lastname@example.org