Removal of Cross from County Seal Brings Lawsuit

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - A Los Angeles County employee is suing the county in an effort to prevent officials from removing a cross from the county's seal. Removing the cross sends a "government-sponsored message of hostility towards Christians," Ernesto Vasquez' lawsuit says.

The Thomas More Law Center, which is representing Vasquez, filed the lawsuit Friday in federal district court in Los Angeles.

"California has become a battleground for anti-Christian forces," said Attorney Charles LiMandri, director of the Law Center's West Coast regional office.

"Whether it be same-sex marriage, the removal of 'under God' from the Pledge of Allegiance, or now the removal of a small cross from the LA County seal, the impact is the same: the de-Christianizing of our society." Li Mandri said the Thomas More Law Center is "committed to fighting this battle," both in California and elsewhere in the country.

The Law Center says Los Angeles County supervisors "caved in" to a demand made by the American Civil Liberties Union, which threatened to sue the County if it did not remove the cross from the seal.

"LA County decided to remove the cross and offend Christians rather than fight the ACLU," the Law Center said in a press release.

"The County supervisors were sadly mistaken if they believed that Christians would just roll over and let the County treat them as second-class citizens," said associate counsel Robert Muise.

According to the Thomas More Law Center, Los Angeles County, by deciding to remove the cross from its seal, will now have to defend its unconstitutional policy of discrimination against Christians in federal court.

The lawsuit names as defendants Los Angeles County, the LA County Board of Supervisors, and the five individual supervisors.

"The ACLU has a plan to systematically remove Christianity from the public square," said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Law Center. "As this lawsuit shows, the Thomas More Law Center is committed to stopping the ACLU and those who cooperate with their anti-Christian agenda."

The Thomas More Law Center describes itself as a defender and promoter of religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life.