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Ludington – Two groups are calling for the removal of a large cross that’s been on the shores of Lake Michigan for 60 years.

The Michigan Association of Civil Rights and the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation argue that the Father Marquette cross is unconstitutional.

Association President Mitch Kahle says the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause prohibits Pere Marquette Township from displaying and maintaining the religious symbol.

The Ludington Daily News reports that the two groups have also criticized the township’s nearly $75,000 renovation project for the cross.

Township officials are scheduled to meet with lawyers later this month to discuss the issue.

The cross is named after French missionary Father Jacques Marquette who was among the first Europeans to explore the Michigan coastline in the 1670s.

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