Brookings Mayor speaks out after federal judge sides with Brookings church


BROOKINGS, Ore.- Brookings Mayor Isaac Hodges is speaking out after a federal judge sided with a Brookings church in its lawsuit against the city.

In March, NBC5 told you Medford Federal Judge Mark D. Clarke ruled in St. Timothy church’s favor in its long running dispute with the city that tried to stop the congregation from feeding those experiencing homelessness. At the end of the city council meeting on April 8, Mayor Hodges took a moment to address multiple emails he received in relation to the ruling. He said, in his personal opinion, the use of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the case was unwarranted. He also said the verses from the Bible used to support Judge Clarke’s opinion are taken out of context. Hodges said the ruling concerns him, and he thinks it should concern everyone.

“I do believe this decision could be fought,” Mayor Hodges said, “I believe, like I said just a minute ago, that the outcome of this decision is dangerous, but I also do not believe that we can fight this on the back of our taxpayers.”

Mayor Hodges said he believes the City of Brookings didn’t discriminate against anyone. He also said he feels once the discrimination opinion was deemed justified, the City’s ordinance was not even in consideration. He encourages folks to read the ruling to form their own opinions.

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NBC5 News Reporter Lauren Pretto grew up in Livermore, California and attended University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a double major in Film/Digital Media and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Lauren is a lover of books, especially Agatha Christie and Gothic novels. When her nose isn't buried in a book, she knits, bakes, and writes.
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