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Judge: Woman can flip finger in holiday lights

Published On: Dec 21 2012 09:45:33 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 21 2012 08:11:43 AM CST
Christmas holiday lights

A woman in Louisiana has won the right to give her neighbors what some consider an obscene holiday greeting -- at least for now.

Sarah Childs raised eyebrows in her Denham Springs neighborhood when she hung Christmas lights in the shape of a hand with an extended middle finger on her roof last month, the Daily Mail reported.

The display drew complaints from neighbors, and Childs removed it twice after police threatened to fine her and take her to jail.

Her case drew the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a lawsuit against the city, and on Thursday Childs won a temporary injunction to keep the lights up until another hearing in January, The Associated Press reported.

"Not only is it a direct First Amendment violation, the city also does not have the right to retaliate against Ms. Childs collaterally for conduct it could not prohibit directly," ACLU attorney Justin Harrison said in a statement.

Denham Springs attorney Paeton Burkett told the AP the city will comply with Brady's order. She declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Childs said she hung the display to send a message to neighbors, with whom she's been in a year-long dispute.

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