1998 December 25

Go to Church, Get Discount at the Ball Game


The Hagerstown, Maryland, Suns, a minor league baseball team, was giving discounts on game tickets to people who brought a church bulletin. The ACLU of Maryland filed suit in federal court charging religious discrimination. Carl Silverman, an atheist, said the he and his family were discriminated against when they were charged full price for a game — on Easter Sunday, no less — while people bringing church bulletins were given a discount. The Maryland Human Relations Commission had already ruled that there was probable cause that the practice violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act:

42 U.S.C. §2000a (a)All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin

(3) any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium or other place of exhibition or entertainment; and (4) any establishment (A)(i) which is physically located within the premises of any establishment otherwise covered by this subsection, or (ii) within the premises of which is physically located any such covered establishment and (B) which holds itself out as serving patrons of any such covered establishment.

Learn more about the Establishment Clausehttp://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/category/religion

And more:  Jeremy Gunn and John Witte, No Establishment of Religion: America’s Original Contribution to Religious Liberty (2012)

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