Boyle officials won't begin meetings with prayer

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Associated Press

Posted on January 10, 2013 at 9:01 PM

DANVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Officials in one central Kentucky county have stopped saying prayers at the beginning of their meetings.

The Advocate Messenger (http://bit.ly/ZLwz6y) reports Boyle County Fiscal Court members voted during Tuesday's meeting to change their long-standing practice to a moment of silence following a complaint from a citizen, who threatened to sue over the issue.

Boyle Judge-Executive Harold McKinney told magistrates that the county's insurance carrier would not cover them if a lawsuit was filed.

Although Magistrate Jack Hendricks said he thought the law would support the continuation of prayers during meetings, county attorney Richard Campbell disagreed.

Officials said they would conduct informal prayers before or after future meetings.

Discussion over the issue got heated at times with magistrates expressing anger and concern over the removal of prayer from the meetings.

Hendricks said the decision to stop prayer "is giving in to the minority of people" instead of listening to the majority who he said approve of saying prayers at public meetings.

Hendricks helped lead an informal prayer with Jailer Barry Harmon before Tuesday's meeting, saying anyone who objected could leave the room.

"They may stop us praying here publicly, but they won't stop our prayers," Harmon said.

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Information from: The (Danville, Ky.) Advocate-Messenger, http://www.centralkynews.com/amnews

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