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UPDATE: ACLU sues over cross on L.A. County seal

Posted: February 6, 2014 12:46 p.m.
Updated: February 6, 2014 5:02 p.m.

The 2004 redesign of the L.A. County seal.

 

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California is challenging a decision by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to restore a cross to the county’s official seal.

In the lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court, the ACLU claims adding the religious symbol violates the constitutional guarantee of the separation of church and state.

Supervisors voted 3-2 last month to put a cross atop the seal’s depiction of historic San Gabriel Mission.

The original seal had a cross over the Hollywood Bowl, but the Christian image was removed when the seal was redesigned in 2004. The redesign was the result of threatened legal action by the ACLU.

The latest redesigned seal — the one with the cross atop the mission — became official Jan. 31.

“Once again, the ACLU storm troopers are attempting to rewrite history,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who introduced the motion to restore the cross to the seal along with Supervisor Don Knabe.

“However, just as other California municipalities have missions on their seals, Los Angeles County will prevail.”

Antonovich, who voted in favor of restoring the cross along with Knabe and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, said adding the cross to the San Gabriel Mission image on the seal would make the depiction of the mission historically accurate.

But supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky voted against the change, with Yaroslavsky questioning the constitutionality of the move.

“The issue of accuracy is an interesting one, but it’s not a constitutional one,” said Yaroslavsky during the January board vote on the matter.

 

 

 

 

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