ACLU Sues New Jersey Town Over Pre-Meeting Prayer

POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. -- The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the shore town of Point Pleasant Beach for beginning its borough council meetings with a recitation of the Lord's Prayer.

The group also asked a judge to issue an injunction barring the council from reciting the prayer publicly while the lawsuit is pending.

Mayor Vincent Barrella says saying the prayer has been a tradition since the mid 1990s, but declined further comment because he's named as a defendant in the suit.

The ACLU acted on complaints by a former borough employee who is Jewish and says she was distressed for years by hearing the prayer before each meeting.

The suit says the prayer violates the state constitution's ban on government showing preference to a particular religion.