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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lawsuit Demands Equality For Wiccan Veterans

The pentacle, a symbol with meaning for many Unitarian Universalist pagans, is the cause of a lawsuit brought by Americans United for Separation of Church and State against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs over the VA’s refusal to include the Wiccan symbol on its official list of emblems for headstones and other grave markers.

Americans United filed suit November 13 on behalf of Roberta Stewart, whose husband was killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2005; Karen DePolito, whose husband served in the Korean war and died last year; and two Wiccan congregations, Circle Sanctuary near Madison, Wisc., and the Isis Invicta Military Mission, a Wiccan and Pagan congregation based in Geyserville, Calif., that serves military personnel.

“For far too long, the VA has discriminated against service members of the Wiccan faith,” said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United, at a press conference in Washington, D.C. “After asking the VA on a number of occasions to stop its unfair treatment of Wiccans in the military, we have no alternative but to seek justice in the courts.” Full Story

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