New Bill Would Allow Public Holiday Celebrations In NJ To Include Religious References

CBS Philly

By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – New Jersey legislators are being asked to allow public entities, including schools, to acknowledge Christmas, Hanukkah and other celebrations as part of the holiday season.

Ocean County Republican Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s bill mirrors legislation which was passed last May in Texas.

“People have felt timid and intimidated to express their first amendment rights,” Dancer says. “‘Do I say Merry Christmas? Do I say Happy Hanukkah?’ There shouldn’t be that kind of reservation.”

The bill would allow for secular and religious references in decorations and holiday shows, as long as no one religion is favored over another.

Dancer hopes to get this bill approved during the current lame duck legislative session, so it could be in place next year.

And yes, he expects someone to challenge it in court, but he believes recent federal court decisions would back the state up on this one.

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