Delaware city OKs ban on Nativity scenes on public property

Delaware city OKs ban on Nativity scenes on public property

This creche had been displayed for at least 50 years in the town square of Rehoboth Beach, Del. (Credit: CNS photo/courtesy Denise Boswell.)

Nativity scenes or other religious displays will not be allowed on public property in Rehoboth Beach for the third year in a row.

REHOBOTH BEACH, Delaware  — Nativity scenes or other religious displays will not be allowed on public property in Rehoboth Beach for the third year in a row.

The city’s commissioners and mayor voted Thursday to keep a ban on “private holiday displays,” the Daily Times of Salisbury reported. But officials authorized funding of up to $10,000 for a “holiday display that celebrates the cultural diversity” of the city.

Commissioners said the display will be on a prominent location this holiday season.

Any displays on public property will be removed at the owner’s expense.

The controversy over the displays in the city began in 2018, when officials asked a Catholic church to remove a Nativity scene installed at the Bandstand, an open-air music and entertainment venue located steps from the beach.

Last year, opponents of the ban protested outside City Hall. Officials at the time suggested that religious organizations work on a display inclusive of all denominations.

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