TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Dixie County officials will appeal a federal judge’s order to remove a 6-ton monument displaying the Ten Commandments in the front of their courthouse building, county attorney Jennifer Ellison said Friday.

County commissioners voted 5-0 Thursday night to appeal and also seek a stay in Judge Maurice Paul’s decision requiring the granite monument be removed from the courthouse in Cross City within 30 days from his July 15 ruling.

The county’s appeal to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals claims that Paul’s ruling quashes private speech in a public forum, since the monument was paid for by a private citizen. The county also wants the appeals court to determine if plaintiffs in the case who do not live in the area have a right to sue.