By Kimberly Winston, Religion News Service

A lawsuit brought by American Atheists seeking the erection of an “atheist monument” near a Ten Commandments display at a Florida county courthouse has gotten the go-ahead from a federal court judge.

American Atheists, a national advocacy organization based in Cranford, N.J., has tried to put a granite, bench-like monument engraved with quotes from famous atheists at the Levy County Courthouse in Bronson, Florida, since 2014. The bench, which features quotes by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Madalyn Murray O’Hair, was rejected by Levy County officials on the grounds that none of the quotes were “complete texts.”

American Atheists filed a lawsuit to win placement of the monument on the grounds that the Ten Commandments monument is also not a “complete” text because it does not bear the entire Bible, just the verses from Exodus that contain the Ten Commandments.

The group has successfully challenged Ten Commandment monuments, plaques and markers on public land, such as courthouse lawns, arguing that they violate the Constitution’s protection against the establishment of a religion. Not allowing the organization to place its monument nearby denies them equal protection under the law, the group says.

Judge Mark E. Walker agreed on Jan. 27, denying the county’s attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed.

From the February 2016 Report from the Capital. Click here to read the next story.