Group asks for removal of cross in Providence

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The president of the Humanists of Rhode Island wants Providence’s mayor to remove a cross he says is on public property in violation of the Constitution.

Steve Ahlquist says his group sent a letter Monday to Mayor Angel Taveras asking that the cross be removed, saying it violates the First Amendment.

The letter says the group will put up an “icon of similar size and visibility” if the cross isn’t removed from the median of Pleasant Valley Parkway, about a mile from downtown.

A spokesman for Taveras says a car wash business has maintained the median and erected the cross to honor veterans and military service members. He says Taveras is not planning to ask for its removal.

An atheist group has been seeking the removal of a cross on a war memorial in Woonsocket.

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