GEORGETOWN — With a 3-2 vote at its Sept. 11 meeting, Sussex County Council has accepted a consent decree ending a lawsuit opposing council’s use of The Lord’s Prayer to open meetings.
Under the agreement reached in mediation, prayer will still remain part of each meeting. However, The Lord’s Prayer will not be used.
Council approved an agreement with litigants that will allow an invocation before each council meeting. Council has recited The Lord’s Prayer for decades, but it became the subject of a lawsuit, Mullin v. Sussex County, filed in June 2011 in U.S. District Court by Americans United for Separation of Church and State on behalf of four Sussex residents.
Terms of the agreement were not announced, pending court approval.
“Prayer is an important part of the lives of so many Sussex Countians,” Council President Mike Vincent said. “While this body represents all Sussex County residents, who come from a variety of faiths and walks of life, we firmly believe it is our right – and our duty – to honor the traditions of the past, and to ask for divine guidance each week as we conduct the people’s business. I am happy that both sides have reached an amicable resolution, one that respects the rule of law, but preserves council’s prerogative to have a legislative prayer.”
Sussex County Council gives up Lord’s Prayer – By Ron MacArthur – CapeGazette.com – Covering Delaware’s Cape Region – Inland Bays, Atlantic Ocean, Rehoboth Beach, Lewes, Milton, Dewey Beach, USA
By Janice Rael on September 12, 2012