Fremont Buddhist Temple To File Civil Rights Lawsuit Towards Metropolis, Alleges Discrimination – CBS San Francisco

FREMONT (KPIX 5) – A small Buddhist temple in the hills of Fremont announced plans to file a civil rights lawsuit against the city alleging discrimination based on race, religion and gender.

The lawsuit is the culmination of years of controversial fighting between MiaoLan Lee and the city’s licensing department over their efforts to build a Buddhist temple and worship center on their property at the 6800 block on Mill Creek Road.

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“I wanted to cry. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted a place where I could learn what the suffering of the human world is,” Lee said.

City officials said Lee’s approach of first seeking permission and then giving it later violated her building codes. A city spokesman said structures are impermissible and unsafe – prone to both earthquakes and landslides.

Lee’s attorney said his client tried unsuccessfully for years to get the right permits but instead encountered endless roadblocks and red tape.

Temple of the 1001 Buddhas in Fremont. (CBS)

“Here in Fremont City, they’re taking a different approach. They try to allow you to try to work with them. You pay them your money. And for some reason they don’t work with her, ”said Tal Finney.

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Angela Alioto, attorney handling the civil rights case, said this is not a regulatory issue. She said her client was a victim of discrimination because of her race, religion and gender.

“Permission never comes. It’s because they don’t want a Buddhist temple on this mountain. They don’t want Asians on this mountain, ”said Alioto.

The city’s communications director, Geneva Bosques, denied the allegations of discrimination.

In a prepared statement, Bosques wrote: “It is disheartening to learn that a lawsuit is being filed against the city. We are a community that celebrates our diversity, and we pride ourselves on having one of the largest Asian populations in the Bay Area. “

Fremont officials said they wanted the illegal building to be demolished and removed.

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Alioto said she would file her federal lawsuit on June 16 after a required 45-day notice period.

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