N.J. AG agrees to stay Ocean Grove’s time to respond to investigationTuesday, August 28, 2007
OCEAN GROVE, N.J. — At a hearing Tuesday, the New Jersey attorney general agreed to extend the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s time to respond to an investigation until a federal judge decides on two motions in the association’s lawsuit against the state. ADF attorneys represent OGCMA, which has been under investigation for declining a request to allow a “civil union” ceremony on its private property.
“Religious groups have the First Amendment right to decide what takes place on their private property without government interference. The government cannot force a private Christian organization to use its property in a way that would violate its own religious beliefs,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Brian Raum. “Since the attorney general has voluntarily agreed to extend the deadline for OGCMA to respond to the investigation, the association’s rights will be respected, and nothing will happen until the judge decides on the two motions before him.”
The judge in the case, Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association v. Vespa-Papaleo, is currently considering a motion for preliminary injunction filed by ADF attorneys and a motion to dismiss filed by the state of New Jersey. If the court grants the motion for preliminary injunction, the state’s investigation would be halted for the entire duration of the lawsuit, which was filed on Aug. 11.
NOTE: The original language of this news release as released on Aug. 28, 2007, was accurate as it pertained to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s participation in the state’s investigation, but adjustments were made to its language on Aug. 29 to make it more specific and thereby avoid any confusion.