Parkersburg City Council ordered to end reciting The Lord’s Pray before meetings

WTAP News @ 6
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 5:54 PM EDT
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Update: 5/18/2022

We reached out to one of the individuals who filed the lawsuit, Eric Engle, who provided the statement below:

WTAP reached out to the other individual involved with the lawsuit, Daryl Cobranchi and the attorney representing the two residents. However, we were unable to get them for an interview or a statement.

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Parkersburg City Council has been ordered to end opening its meetings with the “Lord’s Prayer.’

A federal judge in Parkersburg made the ruling Tuesday in Charleston.

Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation and two Parkersburg residents filed a lawsuit against City Council in opposition to the prayer back in July 2018.

According to Tuesday’s filing plaintiff’s Eric Engle and Daryl Cobranchi both identify as atheists. They say they attended several Parkersburg City Council meetings and both felt negatively singled out during the prayer.

Judge John Copenhaven ruled that the prayer violates the establishment clause of the first amendment.

Copenhaven issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the city council of Parkersburg from continuing its prayer practice.

Each of the plaintiffs in the case was awarded a settlement of one dollar each.

A news release on Freedom From Religion’s website says the group “heartily welcomes the judgment.”

A motion for attorney fees can be filed on May 31. After that, an objection can be filed on June 7.

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