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Atheists Protest Exclusion From Gray Prayer Service

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Some atheist groups say they have been excluded from D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray's inauguration prayer service.

Secular Coalition of America spokesperson Amanda Knief says when the organization found out last week Gray was holding the service the first thought was to protest what she calls "government-sponsored prayer".

But then, Knief says, the coalition put in a request with the Gray transition team to be a part of Sunday's prayer service.

"It wasn't going to be prayer," she says. "But it would've added something."

Knief says the transition team rejected the request and told her the lineup for the prayer service was already set.

Gray says he wasn't aware of the coalition's effort to be included and questions why they wanted to take part in the prayer.

"I said it's an interfaith service," Gray says. "What is the faith that they belong to?"

Knief says the coalition will now protest the prayer service.

NPR

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