Texas could change sign law after 10 Commandments challenge - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Texas could change sign law after 10 Commandments challenge

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Texas could change a state law because of a legal challenge from a woman who was told to remove a 10 Commandments sign on her own property.

According to the Texas Tribune, the Texas Department of Transportation sent a letter to Word of Truth Family Church Pastor Jeanette Golden earlier this year warning her about a sign on her ranch next to Highway 21 near Hemphill, Texas.

The department said the 6x12-foot sign featuring the 10 Commandments was prohibited because of a state law passed to comply with the Federal Highway Beautification Act. Signs and billboards along major highways are limited to commercial and industrial areas.

Golden got legal help from the Liberty Institute. The Plano-based law firm believes the ban violates her right to free speech and freedom of religious.

“It is outrageous that TxDOT is preventing Texans from having signs on their own private property,” said Mike Berry with the Liberty Institute. “Religious freedom and private property rights are some of the most sacred rights Texans and Americans enjoy, dating back to the founding of Texas and our nation. It is also shocking that a TxDOT attorney would belittle the religious beliefs of Texans.”

A spokesman for TxDOT said the content on the sign is not the issue. The state risks losing federal funding if it doesn't abide by the rules of the Federal Highway Beautification Act, according to the Houston Chronicle.

However, the Texas Transportation Commission will consider changes to the state law because of the issue. Public comment will be accepted through July 14.

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