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Archive for Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Christians sue N.Y. for holiday policy

December 11, 2002

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— A Catholic organization has sued New York City, claiming it discriminates against Christian students by allowing Islamic and Jewish holiday symbols to be displayed in public schools while banning Nativity creches.

"All we're asking for the city of New York to do is to treat Catholics the same way they do Jews and Muslims," said William Donohue, president of the Catholic League. "This is nothing but pure, unadulterated religious discrimination."

The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court, claims the Department of Education holiday policy is unconstitutional because it permits Hanukkah menorahs and the Islamic star and crescent as secular symbols but prohibits scenes of Jesus' birth in a manger as religious. It seeks a court injunction against the policy.

The education department declined to comment on the lawsuit, but spokeswoman Margie Feinberg said the school's policy adheres to the constitutional requirement of separation of church and state.

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