sample imageGarden Grove Buddhists who were shut out of their new building will be able to worship there, a federal judge ruled today.

'This is a huge relief for the temple and its congregants,' said Hector Villagra, director of the ACLU/SC Orange County office. 'Everyone is very pleased they will be able to use the building they purchased to celebrate their religion together again.'

Garden Grove officials at first advised temple leaders they would OK a zoning change to allow the temple to expand, but denied the request in February. City Council members voiced concern that rezoning the former medical building to allow the temple to practice its faith would cut tax revenues, and one member suggested there were too many religious buildings in the city.