October 2022 Church & State Magazine

Fla. City Seeks Supreme Court Review Of Prayer Vigil

  Fla. City Seeks Supreme Court Review Of Prayer Vigil

Officials in Ocala, Fla., have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case involving an official prayer vigil hosted by the community’s police chief.

The event took place in 2014 in response to some violent crimes in the community. Greg Graham, who was then Ocala’s police chief, asked religious leaders to hold a prayer vigil in a downtown square to address the violence. The city helped plan the event and promoted it on official websites. Several city employees were present, including uniformed police officers.

The American Humanist Association (AHA) sued on behalf of some local residents. A federal court ruled in favor of the residents, but members of the Ocala City Council are arguing that the high court should reconsider the case in light of a June ruling by the court that allowed a high school football coach to pray on the field after games, even though accompanied by students.


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