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RE: ADA (was Re: Building Codes on-line)

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Religious institutions are exempted from a variety of different building use rules. Many fire codes, for instance, allow candles in churchs whose size and building type would otherwise not allow them. The theory behind this is that the government is trying to avoid the appearance of infringing up people's religious freedoms. Churches have sued in the past with mixed success when their ability to build or arrange their religious spaces as they wished were restricted. If you ban something, it's easy for church X to claim that it is central to their faith and thus you are unreasonably restricting them and thereby favoring some other faith. If someone believes that a walk of faith begins with ascending a single ceremonial step, they may object if you require them to remove the step and replace it with an accessible ramp. Also, people take religion pretty seriously, so if you come down hard on a particular church, even if you thought you were even-handed about it, you can find a lot of otherwise apathetic voters suddenly mobilized against you.

Regis

From: "Bill Polhemus" <bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc>
Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: RE: ADA (was Re: Building Codes on-line)
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2002 13:09:53 -0500

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Schwan, Martin K. [mailto:SchwanMK(--nospam--at)ci.anchorage.ak.us]
> Sent: Friday, October 11, 2002 12:09 PM
> To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
> Subject: RE: ADA (was Re: Building Codes on-line)
>
>
> Can someone explain why ADA requirements do not apply to "religious
> entities"?

For the same reason that chartitable donations and your precious mortgage
interest are deductible: These rules were arrived at by politicians, to
reward their friends and vex their enemies. They don't have to make sense.
They're The Law.



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