Our local baseball team is holding its second annual "faith night" with the express "mission" to get the Christian community and their families to the game. They are also allowing a Christian rock group to perform and sell its CDs at the game. The stadium where these games are held has received over a million dollars in taxpayer funding. Is this legal? I really have no clue. Thanks. -Peg

Tags: Legality

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It depends on whether or not the stadium is fair use. Are they treated any better than any other person who would want to use that stadium?

For example, are they charged significantly less? are they given significantly more space? are they given significantly more leeway?

If they must pay (or not pay as the case may be) the same amount as anyone else, if they're subject to the same rules (e.g. an atheist group or a Jewish group would have the same limits of use), then no, it's not illegal. It's fair use.

However, if they're being allowed to use the stadium for free while, say, you would have to pay to organize an atheist gathering there of the same magnitude, then that is illegal. If you want to test it, go ask the stadium managers if you can hold an atheist meeting and see if you come across the same roadblocks as the Christians.
Don't know. Would you be asking these questions if it was for gays ? Or atheists for that matter. It's great sticking it to the theists, but where do you draw the line ? Is it really beneficial for us to appear monomaniacal ?
They do have nights which include discounts for those with a military ID and a discounted Girl Scout night. It is not explicitly stated if the "faith night" is discounted. I was thinking it probably is considered fair use, but was not sure of the term for it.

I do think I would be asking the same question if it were for gay groups or atheist groups. I do not think it matters when it is singling out any protected classes under the Civil Rights act.

I do know however, a restaurant in North Carolina was cited with violating the federal Civil Rights Act by offering discounts to those who brought in church bulletin. They have since stopped this practice.

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