Silent night for village
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