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NJ town official quits over ‘Christmas’ tree lighting ceremony

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ROSELLE PARK, N.J. — A New Jersey city council member is stepping down after her colleagues voted to add the word “Christmas” to the name of the town’s tree-lighting ceremony.

NJ.com reports that Charlene Storey announced her decision just minutes after the Roselle Park council approved the change Thursday night. Her resignation takes effect Jan. 7.

Storey says the town’s decision to change the ceremony’s name from “A Tree Lighting” to “A Christmas Tree Lighting” favors one religion and “cuts non-Christians out of the loop.”

Storey was raised Catholic but describes herself as a non-believer.

Mayor Carl Hokanson says everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. But he says, “It’s not a street, it’s not a building, it’s a Christmas tree.”