REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – The struggle to show a nativity scene in Rehoboth Beach has escalated to the purpose of a lawsuit being filed against the town.
“That is blatant unlawful viewpoint discrimination and unlawful under the First Amendment no matter how you try to argue that,” says Attorney Roger Byron with First Liberty Institute.
Byron is representing the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal group that’s submitting a lawsuit against the town of Rehoboth Beach. “In 2019, the city came out and announced that its city policy was that no religious displays were allowed on city property period,” says Byron.
The lawsuit argues the town’s stance just isn’t justified as a result of there’s nothing unlawful about having a spiritual image on public property. “It is blatantly unlawful to ban religious displays from city property. That is unlawful discrimination under the First Amendment,” says Byron.
In a earlier interview with 47 ABC, Mayor Paul Kuhns mentioned this example has been happening since 2018 and the town says it stays agency in its stance. “I think from the perspective of the city it’s easier to not have anything and allow on any kind of private property any kind of display that anybody would like to do.”
Some social media customers have expressed their ideas on-line. One particular person says, “State and church are separate. Can’t have it both ways.” Meanwhile one other says, “Why people are so bent on destroying tradition and history is beyond me.”
But the Knights of Columbus hope that by submitting this lawsuit the town will change the coverage. “Banning all religious displays from public property is just as offensive and just as unlawful under the First Amendment as singling out a particular religious display or particular symbol from public property,” says Byron.
In 2019, the town of Rehoboth Beach mentioned it might permit any and all spiritual vacation shows to be put up on the garden close to the Chamber of Commerce. Officials say that location is sufficiently big for a wide range of shows whereas it’s tougher to suit a number of on the bandstand. However, Attorney Roger Byron says that location is way from the bandstand the place a Christmas tree and different decorations are displayed.