Local Christian group awaiting court’s decision on stripped grant funding

MEDFORD, Ore. — Oral arguments took place Tuesday in federal court between the Oregon Department of Education and a local Christian organization who believes it was unfairly stripped of grant money.

Youth 71Five ministries says they have been receiving grants from Oregon’s Youth Community Investment Grant Program for years.

Earlier this year they filed a lawsuit after it was stripped of $400,000 in grants by the state department of education.

The lawsuit says a new rule prohibits faith-based organizations from receiving grants if they prefer members of their own faith as employees or volunteers.

Senior Counsel from the Alliance Defending Freedom, Jeremiah Galus said, “71Five is just asking for the right that is allowed for under the First Amendment which all religious organizations have which is the right to have employees who share its faith. But 71Five serves everyone.”

The grant was originally awarded to 71Five in June of 2023 and then stripped away three months later.

The judge presiding in the case concluded Tuesday saying he will be reviewing the arguments and will issue a ruling in due course.

Galus hopes the judge will make a ruling in the case within the next two to three months.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
Skip to content