Judge Hears Town Meeting Prayer Complaint

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A Vermont judge says it’s unlikely that he’ll decide by next week whether a prayer at the annual Town Meeting in Franklin is constitutional.

A local woman says the prayer violates Vermont Constitutional protection against forced participation in religious worship. Marilyn Hackett also says she’s being denied equal access to a public location because of her beliefs.

A lawyer for the Vermont chapter of the ACLU asked the judge on Tuesday for an injunction preventing the prayer from next week’s meeting while the case is being decided.

But Judge Martin Maley said he would be out of town until Monday and won’t have time to decide whether one is needed. Hackett tells the Burlington Free Press that she plans to attend the meeting either way.

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