Prayer will no longer be a part of Pismo Beach City Council meetings following a unanimous vote last night by the three council members in attendance.
The decision resolves a lawsuit brought by the Freedom from Religion Foundation and a member of Atheists United SLO asking the city to end the practice.
The Pismo Beach city manager says the council's move was made to avoid a costly trial using taxpayer funds. As part of the settlement, the city agreed to pay the plaintiffs' legal fees of $47,500. In addition, the position of city chaplain was abolished.
"We are very happy the city of Pismo Beach has decided to end this exclusionary and unconstitutional practice and make their government meetings welcoming to all citizens," said Atheists United SLO's David Leidner. "We're hoping this landmark agreement serves as notice to the other towns in our community that prayer has no place in government meetings."