The Bloomfield City Council has voted to appeal a judge's ruling that the northwestern New Mexico city must remove a monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lawn in front of City Hall.
Senior U.S. District Judge James A. Parker ruled Aug. 7 that the monument has the "principal effect of endorsing religion" in violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
After the council's unanimous vote Wednesday, City Attorney Ryan Lane disputed Parker's finding that the monument constitutes "government speech" and he told The Daily Times that the monument is nothing more than a public forum.
Parker's ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties suit was filed in 2012 on behalf of two Bloomfield residents who practice the Wiccan religion.
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