Libraries back ban on religious use

The Columbus Dispatch reports a California court decision allowing libraries to ban religious services in their facilities has drawn a welcome sigh in central Ohio.
Many Columbus-area libraries prohibit church services but allow church groups to use library meeting rooms for other purposes.

The same policy by a Contra Costa County, Calif., library prompted a lawsuit by those who argued the policy violates First Amendment rights to free speech. On Sept. 21, the 9 th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled in favor of the library.

“The court’s decision affirmed the practice we’ve been following for years, that the way we’ve been interpreting where to draw the line in regard to religious services and our meeting rooms has been appropriate,” said Deb McWilliam, director of support services for the Columbus Metropolitan Library.