Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration this morning to protest the Board of Supervisors’ decision to remove a small cross from the county seal after receiving a litigation threat from the American Civil Liberties Union.
L.A. County seal
The protesters carried signs reading: “Jews for the Seal,” “Anti-Christian Liberties Union” and “Stop the Cultural Cleansing. Stop the ACLU,” according to a report by KNBC-TV.
After receiving a letter from the ACLU that claimed the cross – which is featured among several other representative symbols on the seal – violates the First Amendment of the Constitution, the Board voted 3-2 June 1 in closed session to acquiesce to the legal group and remove the cross from the 47-year-old logo.
Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky, Gloria Molina and Yvonne Brathwaite Burke voted to negotiate with the ACLU to remove the cross. Supervisors Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe objected.
Antonovich planned to ask his colleagues to reconsider the vote.
“The board’s majority decision to yield to the ACLU’s demand to change the county’s official seal was based on an incomplete legal analysis,” Antonovich said, according to KNBC.
Meanwhile, a county employee, Ernesto Vasquez, has filed a lawsuit against the county challenging its decision. Thomas More Law Center filed the suit Friday on Vasquez’s behalf. It contends the action to remove the cross sends a government-sponsored message of hostility toward Christians in violation of the Constitution.
“California has become a battleground for anti-Christian forces,” said the law center’s Charles LiMandri. “Whether it be same-sex marriage, the removal of ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance, or now the removal of a small cross from the L.A. County seal, the impact is the same: the de-Christianizing of our society.”
WorldNetDaily columnist Dennis Prager was scheduled to attend today’s protest. In his column today, Prager writes:
“The ACLU knows what is at stake – the removal of religion, specifically Christianity, from American history; and the replacing of Judeo-Christian values with leftist ones. That is why it threatened a lawsuit and gave the Board of Supervisors almost no time to deliberate. Those with radical aims do not like exposure and public debate.”
Besides the tiny cross, the seal also includes a Spanish galleon, a tuna, the Hollywood Bowl, engineering instruments, oil derricks, a prize cow and Goddess Pomona, the Roman goddess of gardens and fruit trees.
While one argument leading to the county’s decision involved the potentially high cost of litigation over the issue, some legal-defense organizations, including the Pacific Justice Center and the American Center for Law and Justice, have come forth with opinions that support a successful defense of the cross on the seal. The Associated Press reported some groups have offered to wage a defense on behalf of the county for free.