The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will hold an event on November 7, 2019, to support the Department’s Place to Worship Initiative and raise awareness about federal law’s protection of faith communities in land use and zoning processes, U.S. Attorney Matthew D. Krueger announced. The event, which is free to attend, will be held at the Marquette University Law School from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) is a federal law that protects religious institutions from unduly burdensome or discriminatory land use regulations. In June 2018, the Justice Department announced its Place to Worship Initiative, which focuses on RLUIPA’s provisions that protect the rights of houses of worship and other religious institutions to worship on their land. More information is available at www.justice.gov/crt/placetoworship.
The event will include a panel discussion to educate religious groups, faith-based and civil rights organizations, local government, land use and civil rights attorneys, and other community groups about RLUIPA, a religious liberty civil rights statute. To attend, RSVP at https://buildingfaithinwisconsin.eventbrite.com.
The Department of Justice, through the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Civil Rights Division, enforces RLUIPA and may bring lawsuits where there is reason to believe that a religious institution has been subject to unduly burdensome or discriminatory land use regulations. Persons who believe their rights under RLUIPA have been violated are encouraged to contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Hotline at (855) 281-3339 or the Civil Rights Division Housing and Civil Enforcement Section at (800) 896-7743. An easily accessible complaint portal and more information about RLUIPA may be found at https://www.justice.gov/crt/rluipa.