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Friday, April 13, 2007

Forsyth Commission to fight ACLU lawsuit

4/12/2007 9:51 PM
By: Kira Mathis
News 14 Carolina

WINSTON-SALEM --
After nearly three hours of closed session discussion on Thursday afternoon, the majority of the Forsyth County Commission decided it would fight a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The lawsuit was filed on March 30 after the ACLU had asked the Commission and several local governments to remove sectarian prayer from public meetings and the Forsyth County Commission did not do so.

The Commission will be represented by Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Attorney Mike Johnson. The alliance specializes in this type of legal matter.

After nearly three hours of closed session discussion on Thursday afternoon, the majority of the Forsyth County Commission decided it would fight a lawsuit filed by the ACLU.

"We battle the ACLU all the time, all over the country, so this is not new territory for us, and I look forward to the vigorous defense of this lawsuit and hopefully to prevailing in the court, Johnson told News 14 Carolina on Thursday.

Commission Board Chair Gloria Whisenhunt says the decision wasn't unanimous, but the majority felt that opening meetings with an invocation is an important tradition.

"As we've said all along, we don't think we're doing anything wrong. We think that we have been inclusive in the faith community and we just felt very strongly that we had not done anything wrong," Whinsenhunt said.

And tax payers don't need to worry about how the Commission will handle the legal fees. The Alliance Defense Fund will defend the case free of charge.


Crossposted at Stop the ACLU

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