Updated: Wednesday, 13 Mar 2013, 11:15 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 13 Mar 2013, 10:09 AM EDT
SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) — A civil liberties group has filed a federal lawsuit against the Rowan County Board of Commissioners for its use of Christian prayers to bless its meetings.
A complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina names three Rowan residents as plaintiffs.
The lawsuit accuses the county board of violating the First Amendment provision ordaining the separation of church and state by routinely praying to Jesus Christ to start its meetings. Federal courts have ruled in the past that boards can use an invocation, but only if it is nonsectarian.
After the ACLU informed the county of its intent to sue last year, scores of Christian supporters prayed and sang hymns at a board meeting to support the commissioners.
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