Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

The 9th Circus Strikes Again

Posted by Adam Graham on June 11, 2007

The Boise Rescue continues to try and do well for the Community, while 9th Circuit shows why smart folks in Idaho want to break Idaho out of that circuit:

On Friday, a three-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling, saying the mission’s men-only policy at the shelter is discriminatory and that religious services in the building once owned by the city violate the First Amendment.

At issue is whether the building — which opened in 1994, built in part with federal grants — can be turned over to a religious group that includes prayer and church services as part of its social programs.

The court ruling is at least a partial victory for Community House Inc., the group that had leased and operated the shelter. The group sued in 2005, alleging the city discriminated against shelter tenants and violated the federal Fair Housing Act by selling the shelter without adequate plans to relocate displaced tenants.

The suit also claimed the city failed to repair and maintain Community House as required by the contract with the operators.

While that was being decided, the group asked the court for a short-term intervention to keep Community House residents there and to bar religious activities at the shelter.

What idiocy! First of all, the Community House Inc. folks were, let us be frank, utterly incompetent. That’s why the City needed Boise Rescue Mission to bail them out.

For both policies, Boise Rescue Mission has good reason. They have a program to rehabilitate men and get their lives straightened out. Their plan does not include a hodgepodge of folks, it includes men in a gender-segregated situation. The Boise Rescue Men and other shelters have other places for women and children. There’s even the Booth Shelter for Families. (Oh wait, I forgot. Compassionate North End liberals want to shut that down.)

It’s simple. Boise Rescue Mission bought the building. They paid the city a fair price. Whatever federal money was used to build it: talk to the city. Boise Rescue Mission has a job to do for the poor of the city, while Community House can try and make a buck some other way.


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