ACLU, Citizens File Lawsuit over Prayer at Board Meetings
ROWAN COUNTY, N.C.-- Prayers at the Rowan County Board of Commissioners meetings led to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina on behalf of three residents.
Nancy Lund, Liesa Montag-Siegel and Robert Voelker, all involved in the Rowan community, believe invocations at county meetings should be welcoming to people of all beliefs.
The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, details how more than 97 percent of board meetings since 2007 have been opened with prayers specific to Christianity.
“I want my local government to be open and welcoming to people of all beliefs,” said Lund in a statement. “But when officials begin a public meeting with prayers that are specific to only one religious viewpoint, I feel unwelcome and excluded.”
The ACLU currently has no plans on filing lawsuits in other counties where invocations are given at meetings.
"We take action in situations only when we receive a complaint from a local resident, and over the last year we've received more complaints about unconstitutional prayer in Rowan County than anywhere else," said Mike Meno, communications director for the ACLU of North Carolina.