Chafee to let cross bill become law

By ABC6 Newsroom (AP)

news@abc6.com

Legislation designed to protect a war monument in Woonsocket that's topped with a cross will become law without the signature of Gov. Lincoln Chafee.The bill would allow for certain public monuments – including the one in Woonsocket – to be designated as secular even if they contain religious imagery because they hold community importance.

In a letter explaining his decision, the governor says the bill “reflects a communal wish,” but says it will be for the courts to decide whether the monument “excessively entangles the state in religious matters.”

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has called for the removal of the cross or monument, which is on city property. The group says it violates the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state.