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Religious Displays OK In Virginia

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By Matt Bush

In Virginia, attorney general Ken Cuccinelli says local governments are allowed to have religious holiday displays. Cuccinelli's opinion was in response to a request by delegate Bob Marshall, who asked under what conditions Loudoun County would be permitted to display the "birth of Jesus Christ."

Cuccinelli says a local government can erect Christmas displays on public property as long as other faiths and beliefs are represented. In an opinion loaded with footnotes, Cuccinelli wrote that Loudoun County "is free to create a nondiscriminatory forum for recognition of holidays, including Christmas, if it makes clear that the county itself is not communicating a religious message."

Marshall has sought Cuccinelli's opinion on several issues recently, including whether the state can impose tighter restrictions on abortion clinics, something the attorney general says Virginia has the right to do.

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