Saturday, August 15, 2009

Federal Court To Hear Arguments In Case Challenging City-Sponsored Prayer In Greece, N.Y.

Church-State Watchdog Group Urges New York Town To Respect Constitution And Religious Diversity

August 12, 2009

A federal court will hear oral arguments Thursday in a lawsuit challenging the use of sectarian invocations before meetings of the Greece, N.Y., Town Board.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed suit on behalf of two town residents last year. The residents say the near-unanimous use of sectarian prayers sends a message of exclusion to non-Christians.

“This case is a good reminder of why government needs to stay out of the prayer business,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Inevitably, some people are made to feel like second-class citizens.”
The Greece Town Board has a longstanding practice of inviting clergy to open the Board’s monthly meetings with a prayer. The Town Board does not require that the prayers be inclusive and non-sectarian. As a result, over the past decade, the vast majority of the prayers have been Christian.

Read the full press release

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