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More Mission Suits

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The Boise Rescue Mission is heading back to court to face another round of charges that the group's religious requirements are just another form of discrimination.

The Intermountain Fair Housing Council filed suit in federal court last week on behalf of Janene Cowles and Richard Chin, claiming the two were forced to participate in religious acts, including "laying on of hands," and to denounce their Mormon faith in order to continue staying at the Rescue Mission.

It's the same type of complaint the group filed in 2006. The majority of those complaints have been dismissed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, but several are undecided.

The Rescue Mission was found in violation of federal fair housing standards by the Ninth District Court of Appeals in late 2006 for not allowing women and children to stay in the shelter, and for requiring participation in religious activities (BW, News Shorts, "City Legal: Ouch," Nov. 15, 2006).

Bill Roscoe, executive director of the mission, said the accusations won't water, and argues similar charges have been dismissed in the past.

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