Court: Nothing illegal about Grand Haven removing cross

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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has ruled in favor of a western Michigan city in a dispute over a cross on public land overlooking the Grand River.

The court says Grand Haven’s decision to stop displaying the cross doesn’t violate the free speech rights of residents.

The Dewey Hill monument was donated to Grand Haven as a memorial for soldiers who served in the Vietnam War. Upon request, a cross was displayed with a special lifting mechanism, typically during summer church services.

In 2015, the Grand Haven City Council voted to stop the cross display after critics said it was an illegal endorsement of religion. In a 3-0 decision Friday, the appeals court says the monument is government speech and the city has the power to manage it.

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