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Federal court rules NY town board's prayer violated separation of church and state
GREECE, N.Y. (AP) ' A federal appeals court has ruled an upstate New York town board violated the constitutional ban against favoring one religion over another by opening nearly every meeting over an 11-year span with prayers that stressed Christianity.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit says Thursday the Rochester suburb of Greece should have made a greater effort to invite people from other faiths to open monthly meetings. The town's lawyer says it will appeal.
From 1999 through 2007, and again from January 2009 through June 2010, a Christian-oriented invocation opened every meeting. After two town residents complained in 2008, four of 12 meetings were opened by non-Christians.
The residents sued and a lower court ruled in 2010 there was no evidence the town had intentionally excluded other faiths.