Skeptic News: Quebec mayor fights for his legal right to pray at council meetings

From: Montreal Gazette

A Quebec municipality was in court fighting to keep prayers at city council meetings and it kicked off its case Monday by citing the preamble to the Constitution.

The lawyer for Saguenay’s colourful mayor, Jean Tremblay, pointed during his opening arguments to the very first words in the 1982 Constitution Act.

The document begins: “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.”

That fundamental document was cited by Claude Armand Sheppard, a lawyer for the Saguenay mayor who is trying to reverse a decision banning prayers before meetings.

Tremblay says he’s also fighting to preserve the province’s Roman Catholic heritage. He launched a fundraising drive to raise money for the court case, which started after a complaint from a local resident.

The Quebec human rights tribunal had ordered the prayers be stopped, the crucifix in the city council chamber be removed and that damages be paid to the citizen who complained.

The Quebec Court of Appeal is now hearing the case.

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