Appeals court won't review ruling on Summum faith's display of Seven Aphorisms in park
Posted: 5:55 PM- DENVER - The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today declined to reconsider earlier decisions that said parks are public forums and followers of the Summum faith have a right to display their Seven Aphorisms next to the Ten Commandments.
In a rare occurrence, the full court split 6-6 on whether to agree to requests by Pleasant Grove and Duchesne to rehear their appeals concerning Summum's right to erect its own monument in public parks. The tie vote lets stand rulings by a three-judge panel in favor of the Salt Lake City-based religious organization.
The dozen judges usually are unanimous or close to unanimous in their reconsideration decisions.
Members of Summum sued Duchesne in 2003 and Pleasant Grove in 2005 after the cities rejected their offered displays, proposed to be similar in size and nature to the Ten Commandments.
The lawsuits made their way to the 10th Circuit, where a panel said the municipalities must allow Summum to put up its monuments and the only way around that is to take down the Ten Commandments.
Summum, which was founded in 1975, is based on Gnostic Christianity and encourages some Egyptian practices, such as mummification. The religion's aphorisms involve psychokinesis, correspondence, vibration, opposition, rhythm, cause and effect, and gender.
Correspondent Robert Boczkiewicz and Tribune reporter Pamela Manson contributed to this story.