ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
For week ended June 6, 1999 Posted 4 Jun 1999

Site Index Mormon Groups Local News Other Mormon Churches Internet People Business Sports Arts & Entertainment Politics Media Attention Service History & Scripture Finance & Legal Stake & Local CES/BYU/SVC Missions & Temples General Authorities Churchwide News Upcoming Events Home Site Index Archives



Mormon News By E-Mail!
About Mormon News by E-mail


List Rules

List Archives

About Mormon News

Reporting Bad Links

Finding Bad Links
Court sides with Mormons in battle over massive Belmont temple

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Court sides with Mormons in battle over massive Belmont temple
Boston MA Herald 2Jun99 C3
by Eric Convey

A Federal judge in Massachusetts has thrown out one of the two remaining court challenges to the Boston Temple, upholding a state law that exempts religious groups from local zoning regulations. In the ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Doublas P. Woodlock noted that "The Dover Amendment has a secular purpose of prohibiting discrimination." The Dover Amendment is the popular name for the 1950 Massachusetts law that exempts religious and other nonprofit groups from local zoning.

"It's a good day for religions throughout the state," said LDS Church member Ken Harvey, who is a lawyer.

The suit was brought by Margaret Boyajian, Charles Counselman and Jean Dickinson, whoclaim that the Dover law violates the separation of church and state in the U.S. Constitution. They note that the law would not exempt an athiest group from local zoning. They plan to appeal the case to the District Court level. "If you're going to win a case like this, you're going to have to take it up (to a higher court), because very few judges are going to throw out a state law,'' said Mark White, attorney for the plaintiffs.

The remaining case is a challenge to the size of the Temple's steeple. The Belmont Zoning Board of Appeals allowed a 139-foot steeple, but the zoning bylaws limit structures to 78 feet. Construction on the spire is on hold until the case is resolved. Harvey notes that loosing that case would have a significant impact on the building, "We'd have to have a church without a steeple," he said. "That's an odd sight in New England."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information