Current Issues
North Miami Beach May Recogize Religious Holidays, but Only “Legal” Ones
March 22, 2010

The North Miami Beach council may issue proclamations recognizing religious holidays — but only to those who practice “legal” religions.

In specifying which religions deserve recognition by the city, North Miami Beach could leave itself vulnerable to accusations of favoritism, according to a constitutional law expert.

Thomas Pinder, chairman of the city’s multicultural committee — which presented its report recommending the proclamation policy to councilmembers on Tuesday — said committee members were trying to be inclusive.

According to the proposal, the city council would recognize one main holiday for every religion in the form of an official proclamation.

That means the Jewish community would get Hanukkah or Rosh Hashana — but not both.

Christians would get Christmas — but not Easter.

“Some religions have more holidays than others, we have to be fair,” Pinder said after the meeting.