Church And State Dispute In Santa Fe

Dec 27, 2012

A group of Santa Fe-area homeowners is appealing Santa Fe County's decision to allow construction of a church where members drink a hallucinogenic tea as a sacrament.

The six Arroyo Hondo homeowners object to the county spending about $400,000 to extend a waterline and build a sewage-treatment system there.

The notice of appeal filed in state court Wednesday argues using taxpayer money violates New Mexico's anti-donation clause and the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the church known as the UDV has been involved in legal battles for a decade and consistently declined comment.

The church sued after the county rejected it building plan. The county agreed last month to let it build a temple and to put in the water line.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.