A federal judge Wednesday authorized the settlement of a lawsuit over allegations of religious censorship at Houston National Cemetery.
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Local veterans and volunteer groups had accused VA and cemetery officials of banning them from using religious speech - including the words Jesus and God - during services at the cemetery.
The parties reached agreement in the case through mediation last month, and Judge Lynn Hughes signed his consent Wednesday.
"This agreement preserves VA policy that families' wishes are paramount when their loved ones - our nation's heroes - are laid to rest," Steve Muro, VA's undersecretary for memorial affairs, said in a statement. "This agreement respects the important principle that the family's wishes for religious observances at the committal services must be honored, which VA has fought to protect from day one."
Under the settlement, VA agrees "not to ban, regulate or otherwise interfere with prayers, recitations, or words of religious expression absent family objection" and to let veterans' families hold services with any religious or secular content they desire.
Source: Houston Chronicle | LINDSAY WISE
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