The has denied an application submitted by the East End Eruv Association to install a religious boundary, known as an Eruv on telephone poles within the village.
A five-page decision was posted on the village's website Friday afternoon following the meeting, including an introduction to the matter, citing previous court cases, and ultimately explaining why the village voted against accepting the application.
"We despair of identifying any principled distinction between both the device and the message imparted by the lechis and many other types of signs and other things that imaginative people have sought and could seek to place in our rights of way," the statement reads.
"We do not wish to be in a position of having to make distinctions without a clear basis for doing so or to expose the Village to claims of discriminatory treatment, expensive litigation and potential liability for allowing one type of device and message and not another. On that basis denial of the application is appropriate."
A full explanation of the village's decision, which was posted on the village's website , is attached to this post as a PDF.
The decision comes after the East End Eruv as per a under the village's sign ordinance in January. It specifically asked for permission to install lechis, or a
The lechies represent the eruv, which allows Orthodox Jews to carry items they are not normally allowed to on the Sabbath, such as keys.
Arnold Sheiffer, head of the Jewish People for the Betterment of Westhampton Beach, an organization that has been fighting the eruv on the grounds that it goes against their religious beliefs, was pleased with the decision.
Sheiffer said, "This was a decision for the people. It is in line with the laws of the village and the Constitution of the United States. It is nice to see those being followed."
He added, "Most eruv applications are approved because of apathy, but not here, people care."
Of the decision, Hank Sheinkopf, spokesman for the East End Eruv Association said, "The fight for religious freedom continues. We will move forward."
While the Village of Quogue has taken action on this matter, the Eruv East End Association is still awaiting a decision regarding a discrimination it filed against the Villages of Quogue and Westhampton Beach and the Town of Southampton. In addition, involving the eruv that asks the courts for clarification on if they have the power to grant approval for an eruv.
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