ANN ARBOR, MI – Refusal by the exclusive Town of Palm Beach, Florida to allow the display of Christian Nativity scenes even though they allow the Jewish Menorah to be displayed on public property, has prompted a federal lawsuit by two of its residents against the Town and its officials. The lawsuit was brought by the Thomas More Law Center on behalf of Maureen Donnell and Fern deNarvaez.

Donnell and deNarvaez, both residents of Palm Beach, seek an immediate temporary restraining order that would allow a nativity scene to be erected on Town property in the same manner as the two Menorah displays.

The lawsuit filed Monday morning alleges that for the past two years the Town of Palm Beach has permitted the public display of Jewish Menorahs at various prominent public locations, and that Town officials have repeatedly refused to review requests to have Christian Nativity scenes displayed alongside the Menorahs. The suit alleges that the Town has unconstitutionally deprived the plaintiffs of their right to freedom of speech and equal protection of the law guaranteed by the Constitution.

Richard Thompson, Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center that filed the lawsuit commented, “By refusing to respond to the repeated requests of its residents, the Town of Palm Beach has demonstrated a hostility towards Christianity during one of its holiest seasons. Christian residents of Palm Beach are being denied the right to express their religious message in a public forum that is open to other religious faiths, and the Thomas More Law Center has filed this lawsuit to stop this injustice. This is but another example of the national movement to remove Christ from Christmas.”

The Law Center filed a similar lawsuit last year against the New York City public school system whose written policy permits students to display the Jewish Menorah, and the Islamic Star and Crescent, but prohibits students from displaying Christmas Nativity scenes. A ruling on that case is expected soon.