Borough Assembly Upholds Invocation Policy

Jan 4, 2017

Credit Image courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is standing behind their controversial invocation policy.

At their Jan. 3 meeting, Assembly President Kelly Cooper introduced an amendment to the policy that would have allowed individuals who share a common “interest or belief” to be able to give the invocation.

That amendment failed in a 6 to 3 vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska filed a lawsuit against the Kenai Peninsula Borough on Dec. 14 over the invocation policy.

Under the current policy, only individuals or religious associations on a pre-approved list are allowed to give the invocation. The ACLU claims this policy violates constitutional rights to free speech and equal protection under the law.

In preparation for the lawsuit, the Borough Assembly passed a resolution authorizing the transfer of $50,000 from Borough Mayor Mike Navarre’s office to defend the invocation policy in court.