DOWNEY — The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking a court judgment to block Downey from allowing a Nativity scene at the Civic Center on the grounds that it would show preference to one religion in violation of the state Constitution, an ACLU attorney said Wednesday.
A Los Angeles Superior Court hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 12 to decide the issue. The ACLU filed the motion for summary judgment Friday, said ACLU attorney Carol Sobel.
The ACLU obtained a temporary restraining order last year that required Downey to remove a Nativity scene in front of City Hall. The city removed the Nativity scene, and a citizens group called the Downey Christmas Assn. put up a creche in the Civic Center's Memorial Arch area. The area was declared a public park last December.
"There's an unavoidable message when you set a religious message next to City Hall and the police station," Sobel said. "You're setting it there because you want government's endorsement."