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Judge Denies Request To Overturn Ban On Santa Monica Nativity Scenes

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A federal judge denied a request for an injunction Monday that would require Santa Monica to allow Christmas Nativity scenes in a city park.

A Christian group, the Nativity Scenes Committee, sued the city of Santa Monica in federal court in October in hopes of restoring the display in Palisades Park.

The Santa Monica City Council voted in June to ban the Christmas display, which was first placed in the park in 1953.

The request was to require the city to allow the display in the park while the case proceeds.

The federal judge set a Dec. 3 hearing on a dismissal motion brought by the city of Santa Monica.

Nativity Scenes Committee alleges the city infringed its rights to free speech and freedom of religion under the First Amendment.

Barry Rosenbau of the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office said the case had nothing to do with the religious content of the display.

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(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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