SALT LAKE CITY — A resolution of the Legislature and the governor showing support for white crosses or other symbols placed near roadsides where Utah Highway Patrol troopers have died has been approved unanimously by the full House.
House Concurrent Resolution 16, sponsored by Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, and co-sponsored by 43 other representatives, now goes before the Senate for further consideration.
Perry, a UHP lieutenant, said the resolution, which just shows support from state officials, is needed now because a lawsuit filed over the crosses in 2005 by a Texas-based group, American Atheists Inc., against UHP and UHP Association, a private, fraternal organization, may be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in the next few months.
A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August that the 12-foot crosses, bearing UHP insignia, on 10 publicly owned sites are unconstitutional.
Materials for the crosses and the plaques telling about the UHP officer who died in the area were purchased by the UHP Association, which receives private donations.