City of Orange to remove Nativity scene

Published 2:50 pm Monday, December 14, 2015

The City of Orange received a request to place a banner in front of City Hall from the Orange County Atheists on December 9, 2015. This request was based on the annual Nativity scene that has been erected for many years at City Hall. The City is denying the banner request.

Based on this request, the City reviewed current case law. Supreme Court decisions have tried to address this question in an array of decisions but there is not a clear case that gives affirmative direction to displaying the Nativity scene. This makes it difficult to formulate a policy for Christmas decorations on City property. Based on this and knowing that the Constitution makes a distinction between church and state, the City will be removing the Nativity scene to avoid the legal costs associated with defending the placement of the Nativity scene and focus on the true meaning of Christmas.