Dunwoody debates what can legally be displayed in City Hall for the holidays

The lights and sparkle of the holidays will soon be popping up all over Georgia. But in Dunwoody, there was a lot of discussion about what can be displayed in City Hall.

It all started when one resident asked for a nativity scene and another asked for a Menorah to be displayed for the holidays. But then came the question of what can legally be displayed.

City leaders looked at U.S. Supreme Court cases and came up with a policy that stated: Decorating with religious symbols is not appropriate in common areas of the city building unless the decorations are part of a display celebrating religious diversity or religious freedom.  

The policy then went on to list what is considered a religious symbol. That list included a number of items including a nativity scene, cross or crucifixion, menorah, star of David, drawings of Jesus or Mohammed.

Among the items that were not considered religious symbols, were flowers, wreaths, holiday trees, bells, and Santa Claus.

Monday night, councilmembers decided to scrap the list altogether.

"It's not just about menorahs there are other religions that have symbols they may be religious in some context but not in others. I think a healthy dose of common sense would have forestalled what we went through," said Mayor-elect Lynn Deutsch.

The approved policy the council approved simply states no religious symbols in the common areas of City Hall unless they're part of an all-encompassing religious diversity or religious freedom display.