Ruling on Kwanzaa celebration expected Wednesday - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Ruling on Kwanzaa celebration expected Wednesday

On Wednesday a judge is expected to rule on the complaint filed by Probate Court Clerk Chris Thomas against Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks and the Shelby County government.

Thomas stated his first amendment rights are being violated by allowing a Kwanzaa event at county commission chambers while denying his request for a Christmas celebration. He argues Kwanzaa is religious and should not be an exception to the rule.

"Even if its a government building or not you should still have the celebration regardless of the fact because it promotes unity. We need unity in this world. Especially in Memphis," James Green said.

Vail Gates agrees.

"I think Kwanzaa would be great if they want to have a celebration, but I think they should allow all the other celebrations," Gates said.

Mayor A C Wharton had the power to stop the Kwanzaa celebration but did not.

In a statement from his office, he said that while the mayor does have "ultimate control" over  the use of county buildings, he "had not received a request asking him for approval to hold the Kwanzaa event in the county commission chambers."

Therefore Wharton won't stop it from happening. But he did say "a new procedure will be used for all future events." Including events in the county commission chambers.

Click here to e-mail Andrew Douglas

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