Religious Liberty Law Firm, Delaware Town Settle Lawsuit Over City Christmas Display

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Christmas Display will include crèche

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del., April 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Representing the local Knights of Columbus council, First Liberty Institute, Jones Day, and Morton, Valihura & Zerbato, LLC, have settled a lawsuit against the City of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, after the City agreed to display a large free-standing crèche, or Nativity scene, as part of its holiday display at the city bandstand for the next two Christmas seasons. The City also agreed not to unreasonably withhold approval of attended holiday displays by the Knights.

“This is cause for celebration,” said Roger Byron, Senior Counsel for First Liberty Institute. “A free-standing crèche is once again part of the community’s holiday display. The Knights of Columbus is pleased to have helped bring about such an outstanding result.”

For decades, a free-standing crèche has been part of the Christmas holiday tradition in Rehoboth Beach. The primary location for Christmas displays is the area around the city bandstand and adjacent boardwalk, and traditional displays include a crèche, a Christmas tree, holiday lights and light displays, and a large Santa’s House. But, in 2018, city officials prohibited the Knights from including a crèche as part of the display. In 2019, city officials said the crèche was not allowed on city property because it is religious. After attempting to work with the City, the Knights filed a lawsuit against the City in June 2020 claiming religious discrimination.

In December 2020, during the lawsuit, the City erected its own free-standing crèche at the city bandstand as part of the community’s holiday display. It also adopted an Unattended Display Policy prohibiting private unattended displays on city property but permitting the City to erect unattended displays.

About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

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