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Mezuzah enabling act introduced

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U.S. lawmakers introduced an act that would allow apartment and development dwellers to display mezuzahs on their doorposts.

The bipartisan Freedom of Religious Expression in the Home Act was introduced Wednesday evening by U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Lamar Smith (R-Texas.).

It was sparked by a June federal appeals court ruling that upheld the right of a condominium association to ban the affixing of mezuzahs on doors. The ruling addressed a Chicago-area case, but there have been similar cases elsewhere, including Florida.

The bill would outlaw rules that ban the display of religious symbols on the outside of homes unless the rule is “reasonable and necessary to prevent significant damage to property, physical harm to persons, a public nuisance or similar undue hardship.”

The Orthodox Union, which lobbied for the legislation, praised its introduction.

“We are encouraged that these members of Congress, and other friends of religious freedom, have responded so rapidly to our request to correct the court decision,” the religious organization said in a statement.

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