EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. — The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors rescinded a controversial vote declaring July 'American Christian Heritage Month.'
The reversal came after some residents, and even the American Civil Liberties Union, called the proclamation divisive and urged the board to roll back the measure.
At the time of Tuesday’s unanimous vote, a growing online petition had garnered a thousand signatures, with many critics arguing the proclamation violated the country’s separation of church and state.
Back in July, District 1 Supervisor John Hidahl and three other board members approved the declaration to celebrate American history and Christian-based values.
“The purpose of the proclamation was to recognize some of our religious heritage associated with July 4th, 1776, Independence Day, that was the intent,” Hidahl said. “But unfortunately with a lot of good intents, there’s unintended consequences that sometimes happen and that’s what I’ve recognized in this process.”
In response to the backlash, Hidahl recommended the board remove the very proclamation he proposed.
“Given the possibility of litigation, which has been posed, and given that I don’t want the county to spend any money on a proclamation trying to defend it and I think it’s incumbent on elected officials to correct things to pull things back when they haven’t achieved their positive influence, this was supposed to be something that was more inspirational, aspirational, and it didn’t turn out that way across the board,” he said.
The majority of those who called into Tuesday’s meeting ahead of the vote supported steps to rescind the proclamation.
“Celebrating and recognizing marginalized groups is very different than celebrating the powerful group,” one caller said. “If you guys don’t rescind it, there’s a good chance that the ACLU will file a suit and I would rather have my tax dollars spent on clearing snow on my roads than having you guys try and defend something that is against the Constitution.”
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