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Judge orders Rowan commissioners to stop religion-specific prayer

File image: Rowan County commissioners praying at a public government meeting. (Photo courtesy, WSOC)

File image: Rowan County commissioners praying at a public government meeting. (Photo courtesy, WSOC)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A federal judge has ordered Rowan County commissioners to immediately stop opening its public meetings with prayers specific to one religion.

The Salisbury Post reported that Judge James A. Beatty Jr. submitted his decision Tuesday on behalf of three complainants.

The Post reported that the three Rowan County complainants said their rights were violated by prayers, most of which were in Jesus’ name.

The ACLU and ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit in March on behalf of Nancy Lund, Liesa Montag-Siegel and Robert Voelker.

Beatty also denied Rowan County’s motions to dismiss the case and to stay the proceedings while similar cases are heard in higher courts.

Chris Brook, legal director for the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, said he is pleased with the court’s decision.

“Members of the community should be treated and welcomed equally by their government regardless of their personal religious beliefs,” Brook said.

Commissioners were not available for comment on Tuesday night.

Read More: The Salisbury Post


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