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Atheists Win Motion in Florida 10 Commandments Lawsuit

Levy County, FL—The lawsuit challenging the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the courthouse yard in Levy County, Florida, is being allowed to move forward, a United States District Court Judge ruled.

American Atheists and members of a local atheist group filed suit in June 2015 when Levy County refused to remove the Ten Commandments monument and after being denied twice the opportunity to place an atheism-inspired monument alongside the Ten Commandments monument. The County had filed a motion to dismiss the case. That request was denied on Wednesday, January 27, 2016.

“This is all about equality,” said American Atheists National Legal Director Amanda Knief. “Levy County can choose to remain neutral when it comes to religion and remove the Ten Commandments monument or they must allow other groups to place similar monuments. It’s that simple.”

After local atheists requested the removal of the Ten Commandments monument, the county created guidelines for future monuments, including the requirement that the monument “reproduce the entire text” of any document that played a significant role in the history of the United States, Florida, or Levy County. The Ten Commandments monument does not appear to reproduce the entirety of the Bible.

The case in Levy County is similar to a previous case that was settled in Bradford County, Florida, and resulted in the placement of the first monument to our nation’s secular history by an atheist group on public land.

The county is now required to file its answer to the initial complaint within three weeks.

You can read the complete denial of the motion to dismiss here and the initial complaint by American Atheists here.