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Humanist Group Appeals Lawsuit against Bladensburg Cross Monument

For Immediate Release


Maggie Ardiente, 202-238-9088 ext. 116, mardiente@americanhumanist.org

Monica Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 120, mmiller@americanhumanist.org

(Bladensburg, Md., Dec. 28, 2015)—The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center is appealing its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the 40-foot cross monument in Bladensburg, Maryland.

“The Bladensburg Cross is an enormous Christian symbol on government property and has the clear effect of endorsing religion,” said Monica Miller, senior counsel for the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “We will continue defending the First Amendment rights of our clients as well as all non-Christian service members who are excluded from the government’s Latin cross monument.” 

“Instead of promoting Christianity, government war memorials should recognize and honor all veterans, including those of minority faiths and of no faith,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.

In February 2014, the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of three citizens challenging the Bladensburg Cross as an unconstitutional government endorsement of Christianity. The 40-foot Latin cross is located on a major public roadway median, owned by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. On November 30, a Maryland federal court ruled that the government’s large cross monument did not endorse religion. In response, today the Appignani Humanist Legal Center filed a notice of appeal, announcing that it will be appealing the district court’s ruling to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

A copy of the appeal can be viewed here, and a copy of the original version of the complaint can be viewed here.


Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.