ACLU Applauds Federal Court's Ruling Allowing Religious Organizations to Feed Homeless

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
August 31, 2010 12:00 am

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ORLANDO, Fla. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida released the following statement today in reaction to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to re-hear First Vagabonds Church of God vs. City of Orlando, a case brought to the court by the ACLU of Florida after religious and other groups were banned from providing food to homeless persons in the Lake Eola area of Orlando.

The court’s decision today invalidates the earlier appellate court ruling so the full court can re-hear it, instead of just the three judges who originally heard the case. As a result, the district court order striking down the ban will stand pending the appeal, preventing the city from enforcing the ordinance.

“We are hopeful we can prevail before the full court but in the meantime, this is a huge victory for the religious and other organizations who serve the disadvantaged in the community – it will make a positive impact in the lives of real people,” said Glenn Katon, Director of the ACLU of Florida’s Religious Freedom Project, based in Tampa. “The ordinance is an unconstitutional and mean-spirited attack on the homeless and hungry during the hardest economic times we have faced in 60 years.”

The ACLU’s news release following the district court victory can be viewed here:

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