For Amish, Building Code and Religion Don't Jibe

Eleven Amish families have sued their own town for religious discrimination in its building code.
January 7, 2009, 10am PST | Judy Chang
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"In the past, town officials have said they were asking the Amish to comply with the same building codes that apply to other residents.

The plaintiffs are members of the Old Order Swartzentruber sect, among the most traditional of the Amish groups. They don't deny building houses without permits and have said they were willing to purchase building permits, but contend that the requirements of the codes - such as having smoke detectors, submitting engineering plans and allowing inspections - violate their religious beliefs.

Since 2006 - when the town's codes were updated - Morristown officials have brought more than 10 separate prosecutions against the Amish, the lawsuit said."

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Published on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 in Chicago Tribune
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