A Florida woman filed a federal complaint after her homeowners association barred her from continuing to host a Bible study in the common room of her own condominium complex.
Last week, attorneys representing residents at the Cambridge House Condominiums in Port Charlotte, Florida, sent a Fair Housing Act complaint letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The complaint explains that Donna Dunbar, a Seventh-day Adventist lay minister who runs a nationally recognized soup kitchen with her husband, held a small women’s Bible study in the social room of the Cambridge House complex for two hours on Monday mornings for nearly a year.
The group consisted of less than 10 friends, some of which are not Cambridge residents, and is too big to fit into Dunbar’s small condo.
About three months after a the Bible study began, Dunbar was told by the then-treasurer for the Cambridge House Board of Directors that the group would have to acquire insurance for the meeting.
No other groups that use the common areas are required to acquire insurance for their meetings, according to First Liberty Institute, a legal group that represents Dunbar. But after disputing the need for insurance, Dunbar went ahead and complied with the demands so that the weekly Bible study could continue.
However, the Cambridge House board of directors passed a resolution on Feb. 6 that states: “Prayers and other religious services, observations, or meetings of any nature shall not occur … in or upon any of the common elements.”
Following the resolution’s passing, Dunbar was also sent a letter that explained that the new resolution “prohibits Bible Study meetings in the Social Room.”
Dunbar’s complaint alleges that a sign was even placed on top of the organ in the community room saying that “ANY AND ALL CHRISTIAN MUSIC IS BANNED!”
“The Cambridge House Resolution, both in text and in application, is discriminatory and violates the Fair Housing Act because it prohibits Mrs. Dunbar and other Christian residents from accessing common condominium areas for any religious activity, while allowing other residents to use those same facilities for similar non-secular purposes,” the complaint states. “In effect, the Resolution manifests profound hostility to Christians, and indeed all religious residents and discriminates against any resident who wishes to express their faith beyond the walls of their private residence.”
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Source: Christian Post