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Religion & Law

: Religion Clause

Washington State Bans All Holiday Displays Inside Capitol Building

By Howard M. Friedman

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As reported by the Everett (WA) Herald, the state of Washington's Department of General Administration last week adopted a new interim policy (full text) on the use of public areas of the Capitol. Earlier this year, the state began rule making proceedings to avoid the confusion that resulted last year from numerous competing requests to put up holiday displays. (See prior posting.) A Questions & Answers sheet also issued last week by the Department clarifies the interim policy's impact:
Q: Will you allow displays and exhibits?

The interim policy does not allow the public to place displays and exhibits in the public areas of the capitol buildings, regardless of content. However, subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions, you may be permitted to place displays outside on the capitol grounds.

Q: Will you permit a Nativity scene in the Legislative Building during the holiday season?

No. General Administration has turned down a request for a Nativity display inside the Legislative Building for December 2009.

Q: Will you permit an atheist display in the Legislative Building during the holiday
season?

No. General Administration has turned down a request for an atheist display inside the Legislative Building for December 2009.

Q: Will there be a holiday tree at the Legislative Building this year?

Yes. The holiday tree will continue as a General Administration activity.

[Thanks to Blog from the Capitol for the lead.]

Full post as published by Religion Clause on August 26, 2009 (boomark / email).

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