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Sectarian prayer banned in permanent injunction from Roanoke-based federal judge.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
DANVILLE -- A federal judge says the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors' practice of opening meetings with sectarian prayer is unconstitutional.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Urbanski issued a permanent injunction Wednesday barring the board from opening meetings with prayers associated with any one religion.
Urbanksi's order says the board can still open meetings with a prayer or invocation but it must strive to be nondenominational.
The decision came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in September 2011 on behalf of Barbara Hudson. The lawsuit contended that the prayers by a public body amount to an endorsement of religion.
The board denied the claim. It argued that Hudson's hatred of the board motivated her to file the lawsuit.
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