Si­lent night for vil­lage

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

WASH­ING­TON: Of­fi­cials in an Ohio town can­celled their Christ­mas pa­rade to avoid le­gal fees de­fend­ing the tra­di­tion from law­suits by re­li­gious groups.

The le­gal hur­dle sur­faced when the pri­vate group that for 28 years had funded the pa­rade in Amelia vil­lage an­nounced it could no longer do so, prompt­ing the vil­lage mayor to step in with pub­lic funds.

On a lawyer’s ad­vice, the mayor de­cided to change the name from Christ­mas Pa­rade to “Hol­i­day Pa­rade” to avoid law­suits and abide by con­sti­tu­tional rules about the sep­a­ra­tion of church and state.

“Even though it may seem silly,” Mayor Leroy Elling­ton said, “the le­gal fees that the vil­lage would spend would be costly.”

“There was the like­li­hood that we would be sued on a first amend­ment is­sue,” he said. – Sapa-AFP

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