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It’s not beginning to look like Christmas at a neighborhood for senior citizens in Independence, Missouri.
Residents of the Grandview Estates were told they could not decorate the outside of their homes with Christmas decorations. No lights. No Nativity Scenes. Not even an inflatable Frosty the Snowman.
In previous years, the senior citizens proudly adorned their lawns and their homes with festive lights and other traditional Christmas decorations. But not this year.
Grandview Estates, which is a HUD-subsidized residential complex, warned residents that if they violated the rules – they could face eviction.
MACO Management Company did allow the seniors to post a wreath – but only if it was a “holiday” wreath – not a Christmas wreath.
Liberty Counsel – a law firm that handles religious liberty cases – says the management company that runs Grandview Estates is violating the law.
“MACO’s banning Grandview Estates residents from their longstanding traditions of displaying Christmas or other religious holiday decorations constitutes discrimination based on religion and violates the Fair Housing Act and other federal laws. Nothing in the lease agreement or regulations supports such a ban. MACO Management Company must allow residents to decorate their duplexes,” said Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color and religion.
In 2001 the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a statement to public housing directors – reminding them that residents have a right to display religious symbols to celebrate faith-based events.
And Christmas is a faith-based event.
Let’s hope Liberty Counsel is able to talk some sense into those Christmas Scrooges at MACO Management.