A 14-foot cross, which has been standing in the city of Santa Clara for more than six decades, has been removed – because of a lawsuit.
Last April, a Santa Clara resident and the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation sued the city claiming that the monument violated the separation of church and state because of its location in a public park.
Rebecca Markert, attorney for Freedom From Religion Foundation, said, “We are happy that the city divested itself of this religious symbol, and that the constitution is now being complied with.”
The council argued that, while people may question their decision to remove the monument, a compromise was needed as the law was on their side.
“Some people feel like we’ve caved in or succumbed to the arguments of a relatively small number of people, but as I said they do have a number of legal precedents on their side,” said council member, Teresa O’Neill.
According to NBC, the Santa Clara Lion’s Club donated the granite cross to the city in 1953 to mark the site of the second Spanish Catholic mission established in the city in 1777.
As part of the settlement, the city donated the cross to Santa Clara University, where it will eventually be displayed on campus.
H/T: NBC – Bay Area
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