More than 100,000 people have signed an online petition calling on the Ohio Department of Transportation to remove the signs for the auto accident memorial in the Ohio River Valley, which includes Tuttle Publishing, the publisher of the book “The Good News Bible.”
In October, the Ohio Division of Transportation agreed to remove a sign from the highway memorials and replace it with a new one.
Tuttle, however, sued the Ohio DOT to block the changes.
A judge in August ruled that the new sign “is unconstitutional” because it “has the effect of erasing the history of Tuttle and the Bible’s impact on the lives of millions of Ohioans.”
The lawsuit, which is now in the appeals court, is on hold pending the outcome of the appeals hearing, and Tuttle could not immediately be reached for comment.
In its lawsuit, Tuttle said the sign violates the First Amendment by discriminating against Christian worshipers who visit the site.
The petition was posted on the website for the Ohio Coalition for Religious Freedom, which describes itself as a conservative Christian legal advocacy group.
“Tuttle Publishing is an iconic American publishing house, one of the largest publishers of Christian books in the world, with over 50,000 titles published worldwide,” the petition reads.
“We want our state government to honor our heritage, heritage values and heritage of our Founding Fathers, who fought for freedom, equality and justice for all.”
In a statement, Ohio Department Director of Transportation Steven Litt said, “The DOT will continue to consider all claims that arise from the removal of the Tuttle signs.
We have the authority to remove signs, and we will do so.”
Tuttle’s attorneys, Scott Buell and Steve Stoltenberg, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
“The fact that Tuttle is seeking to take this issue to the appellate courts should give anyone pause, but we don’t know what the appellate court will say,” Stolts said in a statement.
“It is certainly a step in the right direction.”
In June, the DOT announced it was removing the signs, but added that it was taking “concrete steps” to make them more visible to drivers.
The signs will remain until September, according to the DOT’s website.
Tutle’s petition was one of more than 400 signed in response to a January petition signed by more than 1 million people, including former President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. John Lewis.
In the new petition, Tutle called the removal “a big step in their direction to erase the history and legacy of Tutle and the bible.”