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  • Writer's pictureJared Cramer

Ottawa Co. reverend files amended religious discrimination lawsuit against county board

Below is a news article from WZZM 13 about the rector of our parish.

An Ottawa County reverend filed an amended lawsuit against the county, claiming religious discrimination.

Reverend Jared Cramer of St. John's Episcopal Church in Grand Haven says the county ignored his request to lead the invocation of prayer at the county commissioner board meetings until he pursued litigation against the county.

The amended brief claims that Rev. Cramer received an invitation to lead the prayer on Nov. 15, 2023, but that only came as a response to a lawsuit filed earlier this year.

Cramer's brief says that he requested to lead the invocation of prayer in May and then again in August, but never got a response from the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners.

The lawsuit alleges that Joe Moss, chairperson of the board, has hidden how invitations for prayer are made. It goes on to state that the invitations are only given to pastors of churches that align with Moss' personal beliefs.

Moss is the founder of Ottawa Impact, a right-wing political group that controls seven of the seats on the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners.

The lawsuit claims that Ottawa Impact and Moss have championed anti-LGBTQ+ policies and that is one reason why Rev. Cramer had not been invited until the litigation was filed.

St. John's Episcopal Church says they are "one of the only fully affirming Christian communities in the Grand Haven area."

Rev. Cramer says that he had delivered the invocation of prayer at a board meeting prior to Moss' election to the board.

The lawsuit argues that Moss and the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners are in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution of Michigan.

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