Doña Ana County Decides Non-Specific Prayers Before Meetings Acceptable

September 14, 2005

Source: Las Cruces Sun-News

On September 14, 2005 the Las Cruces Sun-News reported, "Prayer will be allowed before Doña Ana County commission meetings, but only with certain restrictions, according to a decision reached Tuesday by the County Board of Commissioners. The board decided that members of the Interfaith Council at NMSU — an association of New Mexico State University ministries — will be allowed to pray nonsectarian prayers before the start of each meeting. The contentious issue drew many residents to the meeting, filling the commission chambers; the crowd overflow sat in the hallway outside the meeting room. Commission Chairman Bill McCamley went into the meeting advocating that prayer at commission meetings be replaced by a moment of silence. After debate among the board, it became apparent that the other four commissioners supported keeping prayer at meetings. That’s when McCamley proposed allowing InterFaith Council members to conduct the prayer... McCamley said he’ll contact the Interfaith Council within the next few days to see if they’ll agree to find people to pray at meetings."