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U.S. Attorney Settles Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Against A HV City

The U.S. Attorney for New York’s Southern District says his office has settled a religious discrimination lawsuit against a city in Orange County.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says the agreed-upon consent in the federal civil rights lawsuit against Port Jervis will repeal a local law enacted in December 2015 that bans places of worship from two of the city’s central business and commercial zoning districts. The consent decree also provides that the lawsuit can be reinstated if Port Jervis fails to amend its zoning laws by January 23, 2017 to comply with federal law prohibiting discrimination and unreasonable impositions on religious freedom. Port Jervis Mayor Kelly Decker was unavailable for comment. In part, the lawsuit alleged that the local law was enacted after the Goodwill Evangelical Presbyterian Church had assurances from city officials that it could set up a branch in the central business district.  

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