U.S. District Court Judge Angel Kelley has dismissed a lawsuit brought forth by The Satanic Temple against the City of Boston and ruled in favor of the city council. The lawsuit alleged that the city council discriminated against the group by denying their request to deliver an invocation during a recent weekly meeting. Kelley explained in a 31-page ruling that the city councilors have the discretion to invite speakers to deliver opening prayers, including invocations. The evidence presented during the case suggested that the city councilors’ discretion was not exercised in a way that excluded individuals or groups based on their religious beliefs. Judge Kelley clarified that city council members did not selectively allow some requests while rejecting others based on religious beliefs. Instead, the councilors’ primary motivation in choosing an invocation speaker has always been the individual’s/organization’s participation in the community.
Ain’t nobody got time for Satan.
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by The Satanic Temple against the City of Boston, ruling the city council did not discriminate against the group by refusing to grant its request to deliver an invocation at a recent weekly meeting, according to the Boston Herald.
U.S. District Court Judge Angel Kelley wrote in a 31-page ruling that speakers delivering opening prayers “are invited at the discretion of the individual city councilors.”
She wrote, “The evidence on record, however, suggests that the city councilors’ discretion was not exercised in such a way that individuals or groups were excluded from giving an invocation because of their religious beliefs.”
The judge further explained city council members “did not allow some requests while denying others.” Rather, she wrote, “the city councilors’ primary motivation in selecting an invocation speaker … has always been the individual or organization’s involvement in the community.”
While The Satanic Temple claimed in January 2021 that the denial was a violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Kelley ruled there is no real evidence to back up such an allegation.
The judge noted the majority of invocation speakers have “been undoubtedly of a Christian denomination,” but acknowledged speakers from other faith traditions have been invited, allowing for the promotion of a “diversity of religious views.”
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