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ACLU sues over nativity scene

BROOKVILLE, Ind. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is suing a southeastern Indiana county over a nativity scene that’s been erected for more than a half-century on its courthouse lawn.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis contends Franklin County’s nativity scene in Brookville, Ind., about 65 miles southeast of Indianapolis, violates the U.S. Constitution.

ACLU of Indiana Senior Staff Attorney Gavin Rose said “any reasonable person viewing this display would conclude that its principal effect is to advance religion.”

The ACLU of Indiana filed the suit on behalf of the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said the nativity scene near the courthouse’s entrance “places the county government’s stamp of approval behind the Christian religious doctrine” and excludes all non-Christians.

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