U.S. News


DOJ Announces 'Place To Worship' Initiative On Religious Protections

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said it aims to raise awareness about certain anti-discrimination laws.
Posted at 10:04 PM, Jun 13, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced plans to protect existing rules on zoning discrimination against religious organizations Wednesday.

Sessions says the new Place to Worship Initiative will raise awareness of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. That was created in 2000 to "protect individuals, houses of worship, and other religious institutions from discrimination in zoning and landmarking laws." 

Sessions said the Department of Justice plans to inform people about the act by holding outreach events across the country and educating religious and municipal officials. He says federal prosecutors will also receive additional training and resources.

It's not clear what prompted this initiative, but the Trump administration does have a history of championing certain religious protections. Last year, the DOJ backed a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. The baker said doing so violated his religious beliefs. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the baker this month.

Additional reporting by Newsy affiliate CNN.