LegalReader.com  ·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

Flamingos Have ACLU Seeing Pink


— December 18, 2003

[Cranston, RI] A flock of 15 pink flamingos — all wearing tiny Santa Claus caps — has landed on the front lawn of City Hall right between a baby Jesus in a manger and a large menorah.

The plastic birds, which bring season’s greetings from “The Church of the Pink Flamingo,” are the latest addition to a holiday display that is drawing fire from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU announced yesterday that it will file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the display, which residents are erecting piecemeal at the invitation of Mayor Stephen P. Laffey.

Each decoration must be approved by the mayor’s office and as of yesterday afternoon, the display included a near-life-size Nativity scene, a menorah, three Santas, an inflatable snowman, an angel — and the flamingos.

All of this follows a 1984 U.S. Supreme Court decision “that allowed the City of Pawtucket [RI] to keep a Nativity scene as a small part of a much larger holiday display that included many other secular decorations.”

The Providence Journal-Bulletin has details (and pictures) here. (free “mini” registration may be required)


[Cranston, RI] A flock of 15 pink flamingos — all wearing tiny Santa Claus caps — has landed on the front lawn of City Hall right between a baby Jesus in a manger and a large menorah.

The plastic birds, which bring season’s greetings from “The Church of the Pink Flamingo,” are the latest addition to a holiday display that is drawing fire from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU announced yesterday that it will file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the display, which residents are erecting piecemeal at the invitation of Mayor Stephen P. Laffey.

Each decoration must be approved by the mayor’s office and as of yesterday afternoon, the display included a near-life-size Nativity scene, a menorah, three Santas, an inflatable snowman, an angel — and the flamingos.

All of this follows a 1984 U.S. Supreme Court decision “that allowed the City of Pawtucket [RI] to keep a Nativity scene as a small part of a much larger holiday display that included many other secular decorations.”

The Providence Journal-Bulletin has details (and pictures) here. (free “mini” registration may be required)

Join the conversation!