The Iowa Civil Liberties Union is taking a wait and see attitude about a nativity scene that’s been erected on the lawn of the courthouse in Tipton. Iowa Civil Liberties Union executive director Ben Stone says the Cedar County Board of Supervisors has created a “designated public forum” on the courthouse lawn, and Stone says if done properly, there may be “no problem” with the religious display on government property. Stone says the lawn must be open to “all comers” and each must be treated equally. Stone says the Civil Liberties Union received several complaints about the nativity scene and had contacted the Cedar County Board of Supervisors in early November, asking that the display not be allowed. The Board of Supervisors’ attorney sent the I-C-L-U a letter on November 24th, announcing their “public forum” policy for the courthouse lawn. Stone says there have been reports that the Civil Liberties Union has said that disclaimer isn’t enough, but he says that’s incorrect and the group is merely waiting to “see how the whole thing goes.” Stone knows of no other creche or nativity scene on display on any other government property in Iowa.
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