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A Win for Religious Freedom: VA Couple Settles With Apartment That Banned Their Bible Studies

01-10-2020
Ken and Liv Hauge Bible study

A Virginia couple embroiled in a legal battle with their apartment complex over the holding of Bible studies has reached a settlement, according to their attorney.

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Last Summer, Fredericksburg residents Ken and Liv Hauge revealed that they had been threatened with eviction after holding Bible studies in their private apartment.

As a result, faith-based law firm First Liberty got involved and filed a lawsuit, arguing that the ban was a violation of the Fair Housing Act, by discriminating against the couple’s freedom of religion.

Now, finally, an agreement has been reached, and it was a huge win for the Hauge’s and freedom of religious expression as a whole. The new settlement involves the Hauge’s signing a new lease at the complex which stipulates that they are permitted to host Bible studies in the community room or in their private apartment.

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“The settlement provides that the policy that prohibited any religious activities from occurring in the community room is rescinded so that means anyone, not just the Bible study, that wants to have an event has equal access regardless of the religious content,” the couple’s lawyer, Lea Patterson, told Fox 5.

The couple is delighted by the positive outcome. “It’s just a great relief to have this behind us and be able to move forward,” said Kenneth, who is a part-time pastor at a local church.

The apartment complex has not commented on the settlement.

In previous comments made to CBN News, Patterson noted that the apartment complex officials had also “prohibited the saying of table grace at resident social meals.”

“In fact, what they’ve done is they will refuse to reimburse the resident social director for the costs of the meal if table grace is said,” Patterson added.

In a previously provided statement, the landlord insisted that the threat of eviction was “no way based on [the couple’s] religious beliefs and/or practices.”

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