Judge rules in favor of giant Calif. cross

SAN DIEGO, July 30 (UPI) -- A federal judge has ended nearly 20 years of litigation by ruling that a giant cross can remain atop Mount Soledad in California.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns says the cross has become a memorial to veterans, and its secular message outweighs any religious meaning, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Wednesday.


"The people of San Diego wanted and deserve this result," said Charles LiMandri, a lawyer who fought removal of the cross. "They're not going to be able to take that cross down, and they should just deal with it."

The La Jolla, Calif., landmark had been the subject of litigation, public votes and legal maneuvers for nearly two decades.

Critics complained that it is unconstitutional to have a religious symbol on public land.

"The Court finds the memorial at Mount Soledad, including its Latin cross, communicates the primarily non-religious messages of military service, death, and sacrifice," Judge Burns said Tuesday.

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