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Suit against Nativity scene ban dismissed

Nov. 30, 2012 at 2:20 PM

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A lawsuit by a Santa Monica, Calif., church coalition, challenging a municipal ban on Nativity scenes in city parks, was dismissed in court.

The ruling Thursday by U.S. District Judge Audrey B. Collins denied the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee's request to install Nativity and other seasonal displays in Palisades Park, a public park.

The committee filed suit in October after the City Council voted to prohibit private, unattended displays in city parks, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

"This is a victory for atheists, anti-Christians and people who don't believe the First Amendment belongs as much to religious speakers as it does to secular and anti-religious speakers," William J. Becker Jr., an attorney for the Committee, said in a statement.

Becker said the group would place its displays on private property at a local industrial park.

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