The American Civil Liberties Union is suing to force a conservative Christian county in Florida to remove a hulking Ten Commandments monument from the courthouse steps.
The 5-foot-tall (1.50-meter-tall), 6-ton black granite monument stands in front of a building for the courthouse, the elections supervisor office, the tax collector and other public offices in Dixie County. The lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday said the monument heaps on its religious message with the inscription "Love God and Keep His Commandments" in large capital letters at its base.
The lawsuit says the monument violates two amendments to the US constitution because it is not part of a historical display and because the uniquely Christian message of the Ten Commandments on a government building could intimidate people with different religious beliefs.
The US Supreme Court has ruled that religious displays are not inherently unconstitutional and must be considered on a case-by-case basis. Last year, the high court allowed the Ten Commandments to be displayed outside the Texas state Capitol but not inside two Kentucky courthouses, where the justices said the displays promoted a religious message.