LAS CRUCES CROSS LOGO CASE SET FOR TRIAL
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — This New Mexican city is being sued in an effort
to force officials to remove three crosses from its logo.
Paul Weinbaum and Martin
Boyd of Las Cruces filed a lawsuit against the city last year in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque. The lawsuit alleges the emblem violates the constitutional
separation of church and state by placing religious symbols on public property and spending public money to promote religion.
Las Cruces is Spanish for "the crosses."
The lawsuit also accuses
the city of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by requiring prospective employees to sign job applications that include
a religious symbol.
The city has spent more
than $16,000 defending itself against the lawsuit, said City Manager Terrence Moore.
Weinbaum, who initially
represented himself in the case, has hired an attorney.
The trial is set to begin
in November. New Mexico State
University history professor Jon Hunner is expected to provide the court
with an account of the historical significance of the crosses.
A separate lawsuit was filed
in 2003 by Weinbaum and another Las Cruces resident, Jesse
Chavez, against Las Cruces Public Schools for its use of the crosses on its vehicles and logos. No trial date has been set
in that case.