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Plaza decision is sensible

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The ACLU's New York attorney Mark Lopez explained under your Wednesday headline that the Main Street Plaza solution probably violates separation of church and state. The City Council's main motivation is to benefit the LDS Church, he asserts, and he implies a new lawsuit would turn on this fact.

"If you think the city is motivated first and foremost by financial consideration, then I'll sell you a bridge," he offers in his New York style.

The point he missed is that tourists are vital to Salt Lake City's economy and the Temple Square area is the biggest tourist draw in several Western states. If the ACLU and the First Unitarian Church prevail, the LDS Church could build a wall, perhaps even a public underpass, that would shut demonstrators and proselytizers out, but that would also damage the continuity of this expansive scene and take away from the tourist experience. Surely a federal judge will recognize that the sensible decision of the City Council was not made chiefly to benefit the LDS Church.

Steve Cope

Salt Lake City