NEW YORK (Feb. 28)
Two major Protestant church groups today joined the American Jewish Congress in urging immediate passage of the Austin-Mahoney Bill which would ban discrimination by colleges in New York State. They challenged the stand of the Catholic Welfare Board which has voiced opposition to immediate passage of the legislation.
Rev. Jack R. McMichael, executive secretary of the Methodist Federation for Social Action, stated: “There is no time for delay. In the firm judgment of the Methodist Federation for Social Action discrimination as such is unjust, and it is time for the principles and doctrines of all Christian churches to be more effectively translated in action.”
Dr. Carl H. Voss, secretary of the Church Peace Union, a leading Lutheran group, urged that this session of the Legislature “should enact a law to prevent racial and religious discrimination in our institutions of higher learning. We cannot move too quickly against hatred and prejudice, “he said. Another group joining the fight for the Austin Mahoney Bill was the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Will Maslow, director of the Commission on Law and Social Action of the American Jewish Congress, took issue with the Catholic Committee’s contention that the Austin-Mahoney Bill is “un-American in the method it proposes. ” He said: “The administrative procedure outlined in the bill is completely consistent with American traditions of full and fair hearings. The Bill is deliberately drawn so as not to interfere in any way with the right of denominational institutions to prefer members of their own denomination.”
The B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League, in a statement by Justice Meier Steinbrink, its national chairman, advocated passage of the measure. Justice Stein brink said: “This state, through its Legislature, assumed the leadership in the fight against discrimination in employment by enacting the Ives-Quinn law. It should maintain that leadership by being the first state in the nation to enact a law prohibiting un-American discrimination in our educational institutions.”