The court validated a November 2000 Los Angeles Superior Court
judge's ruling that prohibits sectarian prayers.
In Glendale -- one of 34 cities to write a brief supporting
Burbank's appeal of the ban -- officials have made sure the city
clerk, who gives the invocations, stays in line with the injunction,
City Manager Jim Starbird said.
Later this month at a Burbank Ministerial Assn. meeting, members
plan to discuss whether to continue the invocations, which have been
a part of council meetings for more than 50 years.
"I believe the effect will be that many clergy will simply refuse
to give invocations," the Rev. Ron White of the American Lutheran
Church of Burbank said. "And ultimately, that could lead to the
discontinued use of them."
"This is an issue of such communal importance that it needs to be
addressed as far as possible," he said of his support for an appeal
to the state supreme court.
But the Rev. Ron Degges, pastor of the Little White Church in
Burbank, said he agreed with the court's decision. Degges said in a
city of increasing diversity, the court's decision protects minority
"I feel we need to be able to be clear about issues of church and
state separation," he said.
Burbank City Council members will meet with city attorneys on
Sept. 17 to discuss the ruling.
Councilman Jeff Vander Borght said he wants to hear from
attorneys, but believes sectarian prayer should stay out of chambers.
Councilman Dave Golonski, who supports an appeal, said he wonders if
the decision sends the council on a slippery slope to a scenario in
which nonbelievers would have a problem with a prayer even