ACLU lawsuit: Controversial Indiana nativity scene violates Cons - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

ACLU lawsuit: Controversial Indiana nativity scene violates Constitution

BROOKVILLE, IN (FOX19) -

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Tuesday, contending that a Brookville, Ind. nativity scene displayed on its courthouse lawn violates the United States Constitution. 

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, says that the display "represents an endorsement of religion and has principal effect of advancing religion, and it therefore runs afoul of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution." 

This comes just one week after FOX19 NOW spoke to residents of the community who came together in support of the nativity scene, which has been on display in the city for more than 50 years.

[RELATED: Community responds to Christmas nativity scene controversy]

And while many city residents appreciate the display, at least one person doesn't. 

In 2010, a complainant contacted the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Madison, Wis. who now asks the county commissioners every year to take it down."FFRF has no problem with religious displays on private property. It's only when the government is endorsing a religious message as is the case here that they are violating the constitution,” says Sam Grover, Staff Attorney for Freedom from Religion Foundation.

According to The Associated Press, the Franklin County Commissioner says the federal complaint violates the county's rights of freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

County Commissioner told the AP that the county isn't opposed to allowing other religious groups to erect displays as long as they are tasteful. 

But the lawsuit asks that the court to ban Franklin County from displaying the scene in the lawn in front of the courthouse. 

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