MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

November 16, 2012

Lawsuits possible over Ten Commandments monument

TULSA — Some civil rights groups say legal action is possible over a Ten Commandments monument installed Thursday on the Oklahoma state Capitol grounds.

The groups say the monument is unconstitutional because it implies a state endorsement of religion.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, says her Wisconsin-based group would be interested in bringing a lawsuit. Ryan Kiesel, the director of Oklahoma's chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, says case law would be on his group's side if it decided to sue.

State Rep. Mike Ritze, whose family paid $10,000 for the monument's construction, says tax dollars wouldn't be used to defend a legal challenge because the Liberty Legal Foundation will cover all costs.

The Republican-controlled Legislature authorized the privately funded monument in 2009.

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