Feds investigate Michigan town for religious discrimination

Posted at 2:24 PM, Jun 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-22 14:24:28-04

PETOSKEY, Mich. (AP) — Federal housing authorities are investigating religious discrimination complaints against a Michigan resort community that requires homeowners to be of “Christian persuasion.”

The Petoskey News-Review reports that the U.S. Department of Federal Housing notified the Bay View Association last month that the community failed to prove it’s exempt from a law prohibiting discriminatory practices. The community near Petoskey requires cottage owners to have a pastor or church leader attest to their church membership or attendance.

Some residents have filed a federal lawsuit to overturn the rule. Attorney Sarah Prescott filed the lawsuit on behalf of the residents. She tells Michigan Radio it’s a First Amendment issue. A hearing is scheduled for July 30.

Dick Crossland is a longtime Bay View resident. He says residents joined the community knowing the Christian mission and bylaws.