ACLU files suit against Franklin County Nativity display

first_imgThe nativity display on the courthouse lawn has garnered national attention.INDIANAPOLIS – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana is filing a case Tuesday against the decades-old nativity scene on the Franklin County Courthouse lawn.The ACLU of Indiana alleges the display is a First Amendment violation because it contains no non-Christian religious or secular holiday symbols.“Any reasonable person viewing this display would conclude that its principal effect is to advance religion,” said ACLU of Indiana Senior Staff Attorney Gavin M. Rose.“The First Amendment protects these kinds of displays by individuals and groups on private property, but also makes clear that displays on public property, which is maintained by taxpayers, cannot demonstrate a preference for religion.”The suit was filed on behalf of the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and two Franklin County residents who are also FFRF members.County officials have disregarded FFRF removal requests in previous years. Commissioner Tom Wilson told the Indianapolis Star that he did not view the nativity scene as unconstitutional and tax dollars were not used to set it up.The controversial topic has led national media attention and rallies in the past few weeks.last_img

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