Voters in San Francisco saved the city’s historic Mount Davidson cross in the Nov. 4 election. The cross, which stands in a public park, is called a historic landmark by supporters, but opponents say it constitutes an impermissible endorsement of the Christian faith.
Voters approved the sale of a small parcel of park land to a private group, which will maintain the 130-foot-high cross. With 90 percent of the votes counted, the measure to save the cross passed by a 68-32 percent margin.
The Council of Armenian American Organizations of Northern California will purchase the land on Mount Davidson for $26,000 and preserve the cross as a public war memorial to dead Armenians. A group of atheists opposed the cross, and tried without success to block the election. The Federation of Turkish American Associations also opposes the sale, saying that designating the cross as a memorial to Armenians slanders Turks and brands them as perpetrators of “genocide” of Armenians during World War I.
The cross, which was dedicated in 1934 by President Franklin Roosevelt, had the support of the local chapter of the American Jewish Committee, and of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board.
The city’s proposal to sell the land on which the cross sits came after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.
– E.P. News