Mt. Soledad Cross
On Dec. 3, 1991, the federal District Court issued an opinion holding that the presence of the Mt. Soledad cross on public land was unconstitutional. The Mt. Soledad Memorial Assn. built, has maintained and still owns the cross itself.
In 1952, the city of San Diego allowed the erection of the cross, but neither endorsed it nor accepted it as a gift.
On Feb. 24, 1992, the City Council authorized the transfer of the land directly under the cross, in the event the District Court did not grant a stay of the March 3 removal order. The stay was, however granted, and the transfer was not effectuated, nor will it be unless the appellate courts affirm the District Court ruling.
Proposition F on Tuesday’s ballot would ratify the council’s decision to transfer the land under the cross. Its purpose is to preserve a historical landmark, not a religious symbol.
There are religious and non-religious landmarks throughout the city, county and state that reflect the history of our area. Landmarks are not preserved to endorse whatever they represent, but rather to educate later generations about previous societies and practices.
The proposed transfer of the land in question is not an attempt to make an “end-run around the Constitution,” but rather an opportunity for the citizens to decide whether or not they wish to preserve a historical landmark.
JOHN W. WITT
San Diego city attorney