September 9, 2011
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
New York, NY 10007
Re: Demand to Allow Clergy to Speak at September 11, 2011 Memorial Ceremony
Dear Mayor Bloomberg:
You have banned Christian and Jewish clergy from speaking and participating in prayer at the September 11, 2011 Memorial Ceremony on the tenth anniversary of this tragic event.
Importantly, this occurred only after you invited Imam Feisal Rauf of the Ground Zero Mosque, which you support, to speak at the event. Your invitation caused a huge controversy and you had to withdraw it. Your actions in excluding Christian and Jewish clergy, but inviting a Muslim Imam, and in particular Imam Feisal Rauf, amount to religious discrimination under color of state law, as well as an abridgement of the right to free speech, among other causes of action.
I represent a group of clergy who have spoken and participated each year at the annual commemoration of September 11, 2011, sponsored and paid for in large part by the City of New York.
If you do not reverse your ban and allow my clients to participate, as they have for the previous nine years, at the September 11, 2011 Memorial Ceremony, we will file suit. Please advise me by 3 pm today on your position. You may email the response to me.
Chairman and General Counsel