RICHMOND, Va. The federal appeals court in Richmond will hear arguments today on whether Chesterfield County should allow a Wiccan priestess to give the opening prayer at Board of Supervisors meetings.
The county refused to put Cynthia Simpson on the list of religious leaders invited to pray at board meetings. The board told her the invocations “are traditionally made to a divinity that is consistent with the Judeo-Christian tradition.”
A federal judge called the county’s invocation policy unconstitutional, saying that Chesterfield County officials cannot endorse an official religious preference while excluding other religions from opening board meetings with a prayer.
The county is challenging the judge’s ruling before the U-S Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.