An ordinance that would have removed the invocation, or prayer, from the start of Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meetings proved to be such a hot topic that it was dropped before even being officially taken up.
Assembly President Blaine Gilman said he proposed the ordinance in response to recent complaints from members of the public that prayer as part of a public meeting was inappropriate. And also that the invocation, as practiced, seemed exclusionary to non-Judeo-Christian faiths, since that’s all that is represented.
Gilman, who represents Kenai, said his answer was to open the invocation up to anyone interested.
“I think the direction to go is to be broad-based, respectful of all faiths, and it’s first come, first served. And if there’s Muslims in this community who want to give an invocation, if there are people who are from Frontier Freethinkers, if there’s a Hindu person who wants to give an invocation, we should be open to that,” Gilman said.