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Judge Rejects Bid for Religious Monument Next to Ten Commandments

Judge Rejects Bid for Religious Monument Next to Ten Commandments

Posted - Oct. 20, 2004 at 8:24 a.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal judge has nixed a bid by a Salt Lake City religious group to put a monument listing its Seven Aphorisms next to a Ten Commandments monument on private land within a Duchesne city park.

Duchesne officials sold the Ten Commandments monument and the land under it in Roy Park to members of the family who originally donated the monument after Summum's request for a place alongside the Ten Commandments.

U-S District Judge Dee Benson says making the piece of land private has clearly disassociated the city from sponsorship of religious expression. He also says the city of Duchesne cannot be forced to transfer land to Summum, a church based on Egyptian customs, including mummification.

Summum's lawyer Brian Barnard says the judge allowed the city to -- quote -- "get away with two or three cute tricks to the detriment of the First Amendment."

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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