US Supreme Court says NY town can open board meetings with prayer

Courtesy of Supreme Court of the United States
May 6, 2014

The Upstate New York town of Greece can continue including a prayer at the beginning of its board meetings. That’s thanks to a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court released Monday. Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich says the decision was about upholding free speech.

Supervisor Reilich says the court saw that Greece does not compel or coerce town attendees to support any particular religion.

“We will continue doing what we’ve done in the past and that is open with a prayer. Whatever individual would like to come and offer the prayer we invite them and we welcome that.”

The Supreme Court has decided this practice does NOT violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The 5 to 4 decision overturned a lower court ruling.

Two Greece women began the case in 2008. They contend that the Christian prayers were not inclusive to the diverse faiths of the community.