BELLE PLAINE, Minn. - The Belle Plaine City Council may be closing down a public forum space that has sparked a fervent debate over freedom of speech over the last year.
After someone complained to the Freedom From Religion Foundation about a sculpture of a soldier and a cross, the City of Belle Plaine removed it in January. Later, in April of this year, the city created a public forum space within the park so it could once again display the sculpture.
But now that there is a designated "limited open forum" space, the Satanic Temple based in Salem, Massachusetts, has applied – and been approved – to place a monument there.
“The application meets the criteria of the city policy, so it’s approved to be in place,” Mike Votca, city administrator of Belle Plaine, told KARE 11 in May.
Religious service held in Belle Plaine MN today protesting a proposed Satanic vets memorial sculpture to be placed in city park. KARE11 pic.twitter.com/MVooU7ywj3— Phillip Duff (@kareSATamEditor) July 15, 2017
On Saturday, several people protested at the site of the proposed monument. The protest was organized by the Catholic group America Needs Fatima.
The argument may be nearly over, though. The Belle Plaine City Council is set to look at a resolution that would eliminate the limited public forum space at its meeting on Monday.
A Friday post on the Facebook group Defend Veterans Park said that the cross monument has been removed.