On April 21, 2009, four decisions rendered by the Lyon Administrative Court of Appeals dismissed the claims of the Fédération de la libre pensée et d’action sociale du Rhône (Rhône Federation of Freethought and Social Work). The Federation had requested the annulment of subsidies granted by the city of Lyon, the Lyon urban community, the Rhône department and the Rhône-Alps region to host the 19th International Conference for Peace on September 11-13, 2005 in Lyon. The Conference welcomed more than 3,000 participants: catholics, protestants, jewish, muslims and laymen. The Federation argued that these subsidies were in violation of the provisions of the Law of 1905 on the separation of Church and State.
The Appellate Court held in favor of the Sant’Egidio Community, represented by André Soulier. Specifically, the court reasoned that, as the conference focused on “humanism for peace”, it was not religious in nature. Read the decision.