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Feb 01,2008
Conn. high court rejects Buddhist temple
by UPI

HARTFORD, Conn. - The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that a town zoning board did not engage in religious discrimination when it blocked a Cambodian Buddhist temple.

The court's 45-page opinion, released Wednesday, hinged on a detailed analysis of federal and state laws, the Hartford Courant reported. The justices pointed out that Newtown officials had said they would welcome the proposed temple in a more suitable site than a residential neighborhood.

The temple, if built, would be the first in the state.

Pinith Mar, an engineer with the state Department of Transportation who left Cambodia as a child, told the newspaper last year that Cambodians are anxious to build a temple because the older generation, who grew up in Cambodia and fled the country in the 1970s, is dying off.

"Time is running out," he said. "If they are gone, I have nowhere to go."

The Cambodian Buddhist Society purchased 10 acres in Newtown. Residents of the area argued that the temple would bring traffic and noise to the neighborhood.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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