It began back in November of last year: Rep. Jim Lyons (who has lead the charge against the Bathroom Law, and in favor of Stopping Taxpayer Funding of Abortion), filed a request with the Speaker’s office to have a Celebration of Christmas on Beacon Hill, with a Nativity Scene.
The Speakers’ office (which is in charge of building use requests), told Rep. Lyons that he’d had these requests over the years, but “religious events are not allowed.” The staffer in the Speaker’s office was reminded that there’s a very public Menorah lighting that occurs at the State House every year, but he told Rep. Lyons he would need to check with the Speaker. Rep. Lyons submitted an official, written request, well within the required time period, and again the staffer said he’d need to confer with the Speaker. Over two weeks went by.
It was only when receiving a letter from the Thomas More Law Society and local attorney Bob Joyce of the Pro-Life Legal Defense Fund reminding them of their 1st Amendment obligations and stating the possibility of litigation that the Speaker’s office granted Rep. Lyons request.
We had a beautiful Christmas celebration featuring a nativity scene, but we also celebrated the preservation of our constitutional right to have the same access to public spaces as secular groups and other religious groups. The first amendment doesn’t stop at the State House door; it’s needed there now more than ever.
We’ll be holding a similar event this year, with much more advanced notice! As such, we cordially invite you to:
A Celebration of Christmas on Beacon Hill
Wednesday, December 20th
12:00 to 4:00 pm
Great Hall, State House, Boston, MA
RSVP: Robert Aufiero – Robert@RenewMACoalition.org
We hope to see you there to Celebrate Christmas, Rep. Lyons, and the good work done in defense of our religious liberty.