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Village to remove Ten Commandments sign

Dec. 17, 2009 at 7:34 PM

LOCKLAND, Ohio, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Officials in an Ohio village have decided to remove a Ten Commandments sign that has stood outside the village hall for several years.

A resident of Lockland, north of Cincinnati, filed a lawsuit alleging, among other things, that the sign violates the First Amendment ban on an established church, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Lockland Mayor Ron Johnson said the village's lawyers agreed Christopher Knecht is likely to win on that issue.

"We talked to our lawyers and all of us agreed we should take the sign down," Johnson said. "The village of Lockland is no different than other places and we need to obey the law."

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled signs or monuments carrying the Ten Commandments are an endorsement of a specific religious view.

The sign, donated by former Mayor Jim Brown, who is now mayor-elect, has a lot of support in the village of about 3,700 people. Many residents have Ten Commandments signs in their yard and 200 people showed up for a rally against taking the sign down at the village hall.

Knecht's suit also alleges the village government is corrupt, and the police department has harassed him because he has complained about a neighbor.

Topics: Ron Johnson
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