Residents Take Issue With McAlester Removing Religious-Themed Signs

Tuesday, November 13th 2012, 10:04 pm
By: News On 6

The McAlester City Council met Tuesday night to discuss whether to reinstall nine silhouette street signs removed by the city.

The removed signs depicted crosses or crucifixes and the citizen complaint stated it violated the separation of church and state. Residents and church groups have opposed the city's decision.

The nine signs are part of 125 black metal signs a resident donated to the city to represent McAlester's culture.

Residents packed the city council meeting Tuesday evening, saying the city violated their freedom of speech by taking down religious-themed signs.

The city says the signs violate separation of church and state.

The city removed the signs, because of the cross in the middle. The signs have now been moved to church property, but many residents want it back on city property.

The city council says a lawsuit could cost the city $400,000 if it reinstalled the signs and lost a legal challenge.

Two national law organizations told the council the city would have had a good case to keep the signs up, had it not removed them in the first place.