A local group of atheists will not be allowed to deliver opening prayers at Brevard County Commission meetings.
In a unanimous vote the commission decided they would be sending a letter to the Anti-Defamation League saying they stand by their decision not to allow the Central Florida Freethought Community to deliver the opening prayer. The group is made up of atheists, agnostics and humanists.
During the meeting several people stood in front of the commission explaining they support the Commission's decision. We were able to hear from a few people in the community who agreed with their decision.
"They don't have to pray. They can sit there. That's what I would write, and I think they can say something during the open session," said resident George Rosenfield.
The Central Florida Freethought Community said Brevard County and counties throughout Central Florida need to separate church and state. That's why they recently sent close to two dozen letters to Central Florida counties and cities, asking to be allowed to deliver the opening invocation.
While they have had some success, speaking at county meetings in places like Seminole County, Brevard has refused to allow them to speak.
In the past commissioners have said that if members of this organization want to speak then they can do so during the public comment section of the meetings.
The Central Florida Freethought Community founder and chair said their goal is to get rid of the opening prayer altogether at government meetings. And if they can't do that then they want to be afforded the opportunity to give the invocation that right now is currently delivered by a local faith leader, selected by county commissioners.