Preserving Religious Liberty

NYCF opposes all initiatives that seek to limit the fundamental rights of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and the free exercise of religion, and supports equal access for Christian students and for churches and Christian groups that use public buildings.

NYCF Asks Cuomo To Recognize Church Reopening Rights

By Albany Update | Jul 11, 2020

Last week, Albany Update commented on the recent federal district court decision in Soos v. Cuomo. In that case, a preliminary injunction was issued to prevent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia James, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio from unfairly limiting the plaintiffs’ religious gatherings. In response to the Soos decision, New…

Little Sisters See A Win For Life and Liberty

By Albany Update | Jul 11, 2020

On July 8, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an important decision relating to religious liberty and the sanctity of life. In Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania, 591 U.S. _____ (2020), the Court decided a lawsuit involving the infamous Obamacare insurance mandate requiring employers to…

Faith-Based Schools Secure Ministerial Exception Protection

By Albany Update | Jul 10, 2020

In a July 8, 2020 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the rights of faith-based schools to manage their own affairs without government interference. In Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, 591 U.S. _____ (2020), the Court heard two cases filed by former Catholic school teachers who claimed that their former…

Federal Judge Upholds Constitutional Challenge To Cuomo’s COVID-19 Religious Gathering Restrictions

By Albany Update | Jul 2, 2020

(Please note that this commentary has been revised and updated as of July 2, 2020.) On June 26, 2020, a federal judge in the Northern District of New York issued a preliminary injunction barring the enforcement of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 restrictions on worship services against five plaintiffs. In Soos v. Cuomo, two Catholic priests…

In School Choice Decision, U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Parental Rights, Religious Liberty

By Albany Update | Jun 30, 2020

Earlier today, the Supreme Court of the United States released its decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, 591 U.S. _____ (2020). In this case, the State of Montana created an education tax credit program. That program provides tax credits to persons who donate funds to organizations that give scholarships to students at nonpublic schools. The…

Federal Court Says Cuomo Wrong to Limit Worship Services

By Albany Update | Jun 26, 2020

Reprinted from ThomasMoreSociety.org with permission New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is wrong to limit worship services yet condone mass protests, according to a federal judge. After telling Thomas More Society attorneys in a June 18 hearing that he was “troubled by” the government’s responses, Senior U.S. District Judge Gary L. Sharpe issued a preliminary injunction on June 26, 2020, prohibiting…

Hoylman Outraged That Social Conservatives Have Representation In Albany

By Albany Update | Jun 25, 2020

Following the announcement that State Sen. Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) had been named Senate Minority Leader, liberal voices wasted no time pressuring Leader Ortt to distance himself from social conservatives. On June 23, 2020, the Niagara Gazette reported that Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) had criticized Leader Ortt for having attended an event held by a…

Cuomo Limits Churches To Thirty-Three Percent in Phase Four

By Albany Update | Jun 25, 2020

On June 24, 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that five of New York’s 10 regions—Central New York, the Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country, and the Southern Tier—were expected to enter Phase IV of the New York Forward re-opening plan on Friday, June 26. The Governor also announced that limits on non-essential gatherings…

Court Intervention Sought In Matter Of Religious Gathering Restrictions

By Albany Update | Jun 18, 2020

On June 10, 2020, three Orthodox Jews and two Catholic priests sued Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia James, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in federal court. Filed by attorneys with the Thomas More Society, the plaintiffs’ complaint in Soos v. Cuomo contended that Gov. Cuomo, Attorney General James, and Mayor de…

Justice Gorsuch Disappoints in Transgender Decision

By Albany Update | Jun 16, 2020

On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia. In that decision, the Court held that the ban on sex discrimination in employment contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act also banned employment discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity.…

Governor Issues Religious Gathering ‘Guidelines’

By Albany Update | Jun 6, 2020

At a June 6, 2020 news briefing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that public health restrictions on worship services would be relaxed due to progress made in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor stated that in regions that have reached Phase Two of the New York Forward re-opening plan, worship services may re-open immediately at 25% capacity so…

Governor Andrew Cuomo Relaxes Religious Gathering Restrictions

By Albany Update | Jun 6, 2020

Rochester, NY—At today’s daily news briefing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that public health restrictions on worship services will be relaxed due to the progress that New York has made in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. In regions that are in Phase Two of New York Forward, worship services will be allowed to re-open at 25% capacity.…

Bible Controversy Enters American Political Conversation

By Albany Update | Jun 5, 2020

In recent days, the Bible has suddenly become a topic of conversation in American politics. On June 1, 2020, following a Rose Garden press conference in which he called for the U.S. Armed Forces to help to quell civil unrest in the United States, President Donald Trump walked to nearby St. John’s Church; sadly, the…

Supreme Court Rules on Church Gathering Restrictions

By Albany Update | Jun 5, 2020

On Friday, May 29, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in an important case involving church re-opening. In South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, a California church sued to challenge Gov. Gavin Newsom’s attendance limits on church gatherings. Gov. Newsom has directed churches and other religious groups to limit gatherings to 100…

Legislature Passes Bill That Would Permit Virtual Church Board Meetings

By Albany Update | Jun 4, 2020

On May 27, 2020, the Senate and the Assembly each passed Bill S.8412-Benjamin/A.10498-Paulin. If signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, this bill will allow business corporations, not-for-profit corporations, and some religious corporations to conduct certain types of business meetings virtually through audio-visual technologies so long as Gov. Cuomo’s declaration of a state disaster emergency…

Shepherds Establish Safe Re-Openings For Spiritual Flock

By Albany Update | Jun 1, 2020

In recent days, progress has been made toward the goal of safe church re-openings in New York. After announcing that he would allow religious gatherings of 10 or fewer individuals, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.32 on May 21, 2020. That order modified Executive Order 202.10 to “permit a gathering of ten or…