Lott says code, not religion at heart of cross debate - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lott says code, not religion at heart of cross debate

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

January 2, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Albany city manager says the order to remove crosses from the top of a downtown building isn't about religion, but about city code.

Businessman Peter Studl placed three crosses on top of the Exchange building at the corner of Broad and Washington for Christmas. The city ordered him to take them down because they violate the sign ordinance and pose a safety hazard.

Studl says the ordinance violates his constitutional rights. City Manager Al Lott says all this could have been avoided had Studl just consulted the planning department before he put up the crosses.

Lott said, "This is not an issue of symbols related to religion. I personally am a Christian, therefore I believe in the cross and all that it means. This is not that issue. The issue is that he violated at least four or five city ordinances because he either did not know or did not take the time to find out what was right or proper."

Studl has been ordered to appear in court January 22nd.

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