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Crosses displayed in Ohio village challenged

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STRATTON, Ohio (AP) - A group advocating the separation of church and state is protesting a pair of crosses displayed for Easter at an eastern Ohio village's municipal building.

The Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation is challenging the claim by the mayor of Stratton that it's constitutional to display the crosses during holidays.

Mayor John Abdalla temporarily removed the crosses in January after the foundation threatened to sue.

The foundation says the village hasn't replied to its April 8 letter. Abdalla declined comment Wednesday.

It's not the first debate over religious freedom in the village.

In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the Watchtower Society in a suit challenging a Stratton ordinance that imposed registration requirements and penalties on house-to-house solicitation. Justices ruled the law violated the First Amendment.

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