Religious Diversity News

Showing all news articles in metro area New York.

Update: Election Battle Over Oldest US Hindu Temple Continues

Source: WebIndia 123

On January 7, 2005 WebIndia 123 reported, “caretaker trustees of the oldest Hindu temple in America here have been accused of not conducting elections on the pretext that non-Hindus could gain control over it. And so the battle over the accountability and transparency of the management of 27-year-old temple Hindu Temple Society of North America continues. Krishnan Chittur, who represents Sambasiva Rao Venigalla and other petitioners, [was reported saying] that once the caretaker trustees ‘realised that holding elections was inevitable, they are raising the bogey that non-Hindus would take control of the temple.’ Chittur, who represents Sambasiva Rao Venigalla and other petitioners, made an offer to add a ‘Hindu’ requirement to the nomination form for trustees in order to preclude non-Hindus from holding any offices in the temple essentially on condition that such a requirement would not be made a pretext for another legal challenge. This ‘Hindu’ requirement will not be made an issue in any legal proceedings, and without prejudice to the generality, no respondent or petitioner will challenge or seek to challenge the ensuing elections.”

State Courts to Decide on Flushing Hindu Temple Case

Source: New York Daily News

On September 17, 2004 the New York Daily News reported, “a bitter legal dispute over control of the nation’s oldest Hindu temple should be decided in state courts, a federal judge has ruled. Trustees of the Hindu Temple Society of North America had filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn Federal Court seeking to stop a state judge from establishing a voting membership that would elect a new board of trustees. But Federal Judge Raymond Dearie determined that, despite important First Amendment concerns about the separation of church and state, he would defer jurisdiction over the case to Supreme Court Justice Joseph Golia in Queens. Last year, in response to a suit brought in state court, Golia had appointed a referee, Anthony Piacentini, to oversee the election of a new board of trustees of the temple.”

Becket Fund Intervenes in Ganesha Temple Dispute

Source: News India Times

On September 3, 2004 News India Times reported that, “Roman Storzer, director of litigation of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, had asked Justice Raymond Dearie to issue an injunction barring the New York State Supreme Court Judge Joseph J. Golia and his appointed referee, Anthony J. Piacentini, from engaging in further activity that would jeopardize the rights and autonomy of the Hindu Temple Society of North America, of Flushing, Queens, and its devotees… The Becket Fund being an international, interfaith, public interest law firm that over 10 years has represented numerous religious denominations in a variety of cases involving constitutional, federal, and state issues. There was thus great interest in their stepping into the Flushing Hindu Temple case.
So far only a local and community issue in Queens, the Becket Fund intervention shot the Ganesha Temple case into a constitutional issue and raised the national profile of the case.”

Judge to Consider Appeal by NY Hindu Temple

Source: Newsday,0,1129404.story?coll=nyc-manheadlines-politics

On August 27, 2004 Newsday reported that, “after three years of lawsuits between two groups of Hindu devotees, a federal judge will decide whether or not the state is entitled to tell a religious organization in Queens how to organize and manage itself. The trustees of the Hindu Temple Society of North America, of Flushing, filed a lawsuit to protest a 2003 resolution and several other actions taken by the State Supreme Court. The trustees argue that bringing the ordered ‘democratic principles’ into their religious organization would violate their First Amendment rights.
In the resolution, Judge Joseph Golia appointed a referee to determine who should be a voting member in the temple and ordered the trustees to open all financial and legal documents… Judge Raymond Dearie said yesterday that his immediate reaction was that there were some First Amendment implications in the case, yet he will take a few more days to make a determination on whether or not it is a First Amendment case. If the case is not dismissed, the judge could order a preliminary injunction.”

Battle Over Control of Hindu Temple Pushes Forward

Source: Beliefnet

On August 25, 2004 the Beliefnet reported, “the next chapter of an entrenched legal battle for control of one of the largest Hindu temples in North America will be written in federal court. The twisting tale of the Hindu Temple Society of North America in Flushing, N.Y., is one of disputed bylaws, an authoritarian board of trustees and a group of members who want trustee elections to be held for the first time. At stake is the temple’s right to conduct its affairs without government intervention, a right, that if denied, is a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state, the trustees and their supporters say.”

Hindu Temple to Challenge State Judge Concerning Advocacy in NY

Source: The New York Times

On August 6, 2004 The New York Times reported, “A prominent Hindu temple in Queens plans to file a motion in federal court today accusing a state judge of violating the separation of church and state by intervening in the temple’s affairs.

The motion is the latest step in a growing legal struggle at the Hindu Temple Society of North America that is now being followed by Hindus throughout the country.

The motion, to be filed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, seeks to stop the state courts from forcing the temple to hold elections for its board of trustees. A state appellate panel ordered the elections a year ago, a bitter defeat for the temple’s current 11-member board and a victory for the group of six disaffected members who had filed suit to demand the elections.”