At Hawkins, Texas, a city council vote that would have decided what to do with the controversial “Jesus Welcomes You To Hawkins” sign on U.S. Highway 80 was postponed on Monday.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation raised issue with the sign, as its placement on city property violates the separation of church and state principle.
“It creates the appearance that the city prefers Christians to those who practice minority religions or no religion at all,” said FFRF lawyer Sam Grover.
However, the plot of land in which the sign sits is divided between two parties—one belonging to Hawkins Mayor Will Rogers, and the other to the city, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
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The vote had to be postponed until a clearer understanding of property lines was reached, reports KLTV.
“There are a lot of pieces here that have to be looked at, Mayor Will Rogers said to KLTV. “It’s very hard for surveyors to get an accurate reading unless you go way back and measure off railroad tracks.”
Still, many Hawkins residents are supportive of the sign, whether or not it lays on private or city land.
“My view is, when the sign was put up it was voted for by the city council and the mayor at that time,” said Hawkins resident Paulette Wilson. “If they didn’t want the sign there, they should have checked out all of the ramifications.”
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Hawkins Chamber of commerce president Debi Crawford also weighed in on the controversial sign and its relationship to the public.
“We support their right to have the sign, but we also know that it cannot be set on public land where it allows it to create a public forum,” she said to KLTV.
Rogers said the sign has been up for nearly four years, and it was only until this year that problems over the sign have surfaced, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.