- Associated Press - Thursday, September 25, 2014

OCALA, Fla. (AP) - Atheists are objecting to a north Florida town’s sponsoring of a prayer vigil after a recent spate of drive-by shootings, saying it violates separation of church and state.

The complaints from Frances Porgal, organizer of local atheist groups, came after the Ocala Police Department’s Facebook page posted a letter urging citizens to attend.

Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn told The Ocala Star-Banner (https://bit.ly/1ro3KtD) that officials have a First Amendment right to gather and pray.

The Washington DC-based American Humanist Association’s legal director David Noise objected to the government’s endorsement of a religious event. The group focuses on church-state legal issues.

Ocala City Attorney Patrick Gilligan disputes that, saying the vigil is open to all and that officials have the right to speak at churches.



___

Information from: Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner, https://www.starbanner.com/

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide