Resort community eliminates ‘Christian persuasion’ bylaw
BAY VIEW, Mich. (AP) — Members of a northern Michigan resort community have eliminated a bylaw being challenged in court that requires homeowners to be of “Christian persuasion.”
The Petoskey News-Review reports members of the Bay View Association voted 69 percent to 31 percent Saturday to strike down the decades-old requirement. A newly adopted rule states applicants for membership must support the Bay View mission and “respect the principles of the United Methodist Church.” It eliminates a requirement that applicants submit a letter of recommendation from their pastor or church leader.
A group of residents have filed a federal lawsuit to overturn the rule, alleging it violates the First Amendment. The U.S. Department of Federal Housing notified the associated in May that it failed to prove it’s exempt from a law prohibiting discrimination.