Satanic Temple loses court battle over placing monument in Belle Plaine

2021-10-08 13:59:25 –

The Devil’s Temple lost a court battle with the city of Belplane four years after religious groups tried to build a monument in the local Veterans Memorial Park.

The temple claimed in two separate proceedings that the Southwestern metropolis violated rights such as freedom of speech and free expression of religion. However, a federal judge dismissed most of these allegations in 2020 and determined in September that the city did not violate the contract when it revoked the permit to set up the monument.

Belplane is happy with the court’s decision, said city administrator Dawn Meyer.

“Don’t choose a fight you can’t win — and that’s what happened here,” said city councilman Paul Chard. “It’s a shame I had to go this far.”

The court’s decision was summary judgment, not trial.

Matthew Kezaya, a lawyer at The Satanic Temple, said a Massachusetts-based religious group had filed notices appealing to both the first and second similar cases.

“I’ve never heard of our case,” he said. “If the public sees this quiet false charge happening in the Temple of the Devil, it loses its own credible opposition when it happens to the more palatable religious minority.”

The battle began about four years ago after it was set up in the Veterans Memorial Park and then a monument depicting the silhouette of a kneeling soldier on a cross-shaped tombstone of a fallen comrade. It raised dissatisfaction with its religious overtones.

The city first demolished the monument, but after the protest, it created a new area of ​​freedom of speech in the park and restored it.The Devil’s Temple asked for a pentagram inscription and a black cube monument with an upward helmet. Displayed as counterpoint..

This was to be the first devil’s monument to the country’s public property, but Belplane leaders said the Freedom of Speech Zone (“Limited”) after repeated protests by religious groups and advocates of free speech. I canceled the public forum “) and revoked the permission of the temple. A statue of a soldier called “Joe” came down.

Satanic Temple Sued the city in 2019Claims that the right was infringed by the city’s revocation of the permit. Temple officials said they had already paid to build the monument and it was worth about $ 35,000.

With branches around the world and branches in Minnesota, the temple states that its members do not actually worship Satan, but advocate a clear separation between the church and the state.

August 2020The federal court dismissed nine out of ten counts in the Devil’s Temple proceedings, including free speech and free exercise of religious breaches. The remaining number of proceedings alleged that the city broke its promise when it revoked the permit.

The promissory note claim is that the city made a “clear and clear promise” to the Devil’s Temple, that the city intended to rely on the promise, and that the temple had negative consequences. I requested the temple to prove it. We must keep our promise to “prevent fraud.”

The judge discovered that Belplane had made a promise, but said the temple did not rely on it because the group contacted the artist to build a monument before receiving permission.

The judge fulfilled that promise, because the city never promised to repay the temple, and the temple received enough donations to fund the monument. According to the ruling, the temple did not make a “convincing claim” that its reputation was damaged or that the monument did not serve its purpose because it was not on display at Belplane.

The temple was not financially damaged and its reputation was not damaged, so according to the order, there is no need to enforce the promise.

The judge also agreed with the city’s request to impose penalties on the temple for filing a second proceeding reflecting the allegations already dismissed in the first proceeding.

The judge ruled that the temple should pay the attorney’s fees in the second proceeding, which was dismissed, as a fine. The amount of legal fees is still being decided.

Erin Adler • 612-673-1781

Satanic Temple loses court battle over placing monument in Belle Plaine Source link Satanic Temple loses court battle over placing monument in Belle Plaine

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