Ocean County Judge Halts Prayer in Point Beach
ACLU Says Order Shows Government Cannot Show Religious Preference
An Ocean County judge ordered Point Pleasant Beach officials on Friday to stop holding prayer at municipal council meetings, according to an ACLU press release.
The American Civil Liberties Union's New Jersey chapter said the judge's order "clearly violated the New Jersey constitution, which obligates the government to not show a preference for one religion over another."
"We support the right of government officials to pray on their own time, but when they act as the voice of government, they cannot promote their own religious beliefs," said Jeanne LoCicero, ACLU-NJ Deputy Legal Director, who argued the motion.
The policy allowed its municipal council members to lead meetings with prayers that reflect their personal religious beliefs, according to the release.
The American Ciivil Liberties Union sued the borough last month and sought a preliminary injunction to halt the practice, the release said.