Florida county must pay $490,000 to atheists denied invocations at their meetings

(FLORIDA TODAY) The Brevard County Commission’s refusal to provide representatives of the atheist and agnostic community an opportunity to give the invocation at the start of commission meetings is proving costly.

Two federal courts found that the county’s policy of having only clergy give the invocation violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by discriminating in favor of certain monotheistic religions.

As a result, the County Commission on Tuesday will vote on paying damages and legal fees totaling $490,000 to settle the case.

The proposed settlement includes:

Paying the groups and individuals who sued the county $60,000 in compensatory damages.

Paying the plaintiffs $430,000 to cover their attorney and litigation expenses. READ MORE

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