Ruling knocks down city from limiting church meals

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon Foundation

A federal judge ruled that the southern Oregon city of Brookings has no legal right to limit the number of meals offered by a local church, according to ABC News. An ordinance approved by the City Council in 2021 in response to citizen complaints limited the meal services to two days a week and required food permits, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke ruled the new law violated the religious freedom of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church. The ruling comes after the church, which has served free meals since 2009, sued the city for violating its religious freedom, saying that feeding and caring for people expressed the church’s religious beliefs.    For many years, the City was encouraging the church to help the homeless — but then switched to stopping them by attempting to limit them to only serve meals twice a week.

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