ACCORD, N.Y. (AP) – A Hudson Valley roller rink that advertised Christian skating on Sundays was warned by the state it might be violating anti-discrimination laws, according to the owner.

Skate Time 209’s afternoon “Christian skate” program featured contemporary Christian music like Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel” and was open to anyone, said Len Bernardo, who runs the business with his wife.

“We’ve never denied access to anyone, ever,” Bernardo said. “We just want to play wholesome music, that’s the bottom line.”

But a complaint about an advertisement for the rink in a local weekly newspaper prompted a letter last week from the state Division of Human Rights. The letter said that by seeking Christian skaters, Skate Time was apparently discouraging non-Christian customers in violation of human rights law, according to Bernardo.

Given a chance by the division to formally respond, Bernardo explained that the rink is merely playing Christian music. Bernardo said it was just another program, like teen night or family night. He has since changed the name to “spiritual skate.”


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