A town in Florida has been sued for barring a privately funded Nativity scene from being displayed on public property while allowing religious Jewish symbols throughout the city.
The Thomas More Law Center announced yesterday it has filed a suit against Bay Harbor Islands, Fla. According to a statement from the group, the town has adorned its lampposts with Jewish menorahs and stars of David to commemorate Hanukkah and has allowed a synagogue to display its 14-foot Menorah in the most prominent public location at the entrance of the city.
Officials, however, have denied multiple requests by Christian resident Sandra Snowden to display Nativity scenes purchased with her own money in a similar manner.
Thomas More says last week Snowden was denied permission to display the cr?ches for a second consecutive year.
“As we approach Christmas, we are once again confronted with a town that believes it is legally acceptable to discriminate against Christian religious symbols celebrating this holy season,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center. “This is one of the most outrageous examples of such discrimination.”
The legal group says Snowden made her first request last December, but the city council tabled the issue, saying it was trivial.
“It is sad to see one get deeply offended by something as trivial as holiday decorations,” then-Vice Mayor Isaac Salver told Snowden.
In October, Snowden again made her request to display Nativity scenes alongside the menorahs and again was rebuffed.
The lawsuit claims the town has violated her free speech and equal protection rights and also has violated the establishment clause to the United States Constitution.
In a similar case reported by WorldNetDaily last spring, a federal-court consent judgment ordered the town of Palm Beach, Fla., to pay $50,000 in attorney fees and apologize for not allowing the display of Christian nativity scenes while permitting Jewish menorahs.
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