Every morning, each member of the Samona family stops to pray in front of a small statue of the Virgin Mary that adorns the flower bed in the yard of their Novi home.
They pause again in front of the tiny statue when they return home at day’s end. It’s been part of the family’s routine since they moved into the Tollgate Woods neighborhood in 2003
On Tuesday, the Samonas received a letter from their homeowners association, stating that the Virgin Mary figure and other pieces of statuary in their yard were in violation of neighborhood policies.
The family believes it’s discrimination.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this is an attack on our religion,” said Joseph Samona, who lives at the home with his parents.”We have already received an outpouring of support from friends and family, and we are prepared to fight this tooth and nail.”
It’s not the first time the group has targeted their religious decorations.
In 2005, they tried to make the family remove their lawn nativity scene. They pushed back, bringing in a lawyer and drawing widespread media attention until the association backed off.