ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. -- The executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition released a statement in support of the Rowan County Commissioners on Thursday.

The American Civil Liberties Union first sent a letter, then filed a lawsuit in protest of the Commissioner's practice of engaging in Christian prayer before each meeting.

The lawsuit asks for an injunction, and lists three Rowan County residents as plaintiffs.

The controversy has been going on for more than a year now.

A previous court ruling declared that praying before a government meeting was unconstitutional. The ACLU's lawsuit accuses Rowan County leaders of violating the First and 14th amendments.

Rowan County Commissioners say they will fight the lawsuit and continue to pray.

On Thursday, Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the NCValues Coalition released the following statement in support of the commissioners:

County Commissioners and other public officials shouldn t be coerced into censoring prayers before public meetings just because the ACLU and AU don t like people praying according to their own consciences. The ACLU silenced the prayers of Forsyth County by using the federal courts, and this suit against the County Commissioners of Rowan County is just their latest in a string of attempts to bully and intimidate County Commissioners from exercising their right of free speech. If a Christian is prohibited from praying to Jesus, the very basis of prayer is destroyed, and the right to pray is destroyed with it.

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