Town to Rescind Code Banning Home Churches





After getting a lot of publicity for a controversial building code banning religious assembly at homes, the town of Gilbert, Ariz. is poised to rescind the code as soon as it can, according to The Arizona Republic.

The trouble started in November when a code compliance officer ordered pastor Joe Sutherland of the Oasis of Truth Church to stop hosting small church services at his home. The code, which was passed in 2006, states that “religious assembly uses are not permitted in single-family residential structures.”

The story garnered international attention when the Alliance Defense Fund, the religious legal organization, appealed the cease-and-desist order, calling the regulation unconstitutional.

According to Gilbert Mayor John Lewis, the town council wasn’t aware of the code until about six weeks ago, and have asked town officials to stop enforcing it until permanent changes could be made. However, the council is planning on expediting the process after a negative public reaction. [azcentral.com, 3/15/10]

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