Veterans Join Religious Discrimination Suit Against VA in Houston Cemetery Case

By:  Dave Bohon
07/05/2011
       
Veterans Join Religious Discrimination Suit Against VA in Houston Cemetery Case

Several veterans groups in Houston, Texas, are joining an area pastor in suing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for religious discrimination, charging that at least one VA official banned prayers and certain religious terms during funerals for veterans at the Houston National Cemetery. The latest charges follow a Memorial Day controversy in which the cemetery’s director, Arleen Ocasio, censored a prayer that the Rev. Scott Rainey had planned to deliver during a service at the cemetery, removing the name of Jesus from the prayer. As reported by The New American, Rainey filed suit, and a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order against the VA, ruling that Rainey’s prayer qualified as free speech protected under the First Amendment, and allowing him to proceed with his original prayer.

Several veterans groups in Houston, Texas, are joining an area pastor in suing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for religious discrimination, charging that at least one VA official banned prayers and certain religious terms during funerals for veterans at the Houston National Cemetery (pictured). The latest charges follow a Memorial Day controversy in which the cemetery’s director, Arleen Ocasio, censored a prayer that the Rev. Scott Rainey had planned to deliver during a service at the cemetery, removing the name of Jesus from the prayer. As reported by The New American, Rainey filed suit, and a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order against the VA, ruling that Rainey’s prayer qualified as free speech protected under the First Amendment, and allowing him to proceed with his original prayer.

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