All Americans should feel welcome when they attend government meetings or public events. When government officials, town councils, county boards and other bodies encourage prayer or incorporate official prayer into events and meetings, however, some of the people these officials are sworn to serve feel excluded.
Local government meetings, in particular, are an important time for citizens to come together and have a say in how their communities are run. Local governments are also the government offices that people are closest to, so they should strive to be inclusive and neutral regarding religion.
Americans United opposes official government prayer to ensure that government officials keep public events, government meetings and proclamations inclusive for all their constituents, regardless of religious belief.