By Dave Berman
A central Florida county could face a religious-discrimination lawsuit from an organization of atheists and agnostics after the Brevard County Commission said the organization is not the type of group that would be permitted to give the opening invocation at commission meetings.
Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously voted to send David Williamson of Oviedo, Fla., founder and chair of the Central Florida Freethought Community, a letter, saying his group does not qualify to deliver the invocation, which the commission defined as “an opening prayer, presented by members of our faith community.”
The letter said, as an alternative, a representative of the group could speak for three minutes during the public comment period near the end of the commission meeting.
Central Florida Freethought Community members and supporters argue that’s not the same thing, and Williamson said he would consult with legal experts on what his group’s next step will be.
“It was very disappointing that the vote was 5-0,” said Williamson. “Everyone can be treated equal, except when it comes to religion, it appears. What we were seeking is inclusion.”
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