Rally for prayer set for Monday before commissioners meeting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Christian organization plans a rally before the Rowan County Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday.
The rally, hosted by the Return America, will start at 5:30 p.m. outside the county administration building at 130 W. Innes St., according to a flyer sent out by the organization.
The commissioners’ meeting starts at 6 p.m.
Dr. Don Baity, founder and president of the organization based near Winston-Salem, will attend, along with David Gibbs III, the attorney representing Rowan in the lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU of North Carolina filed a lawsuit in March aiming to stop the overwhelmingly Christian prayers that open Rowan Board of Commissioners meetings.
Three local residents are named as plaintiffs in that lawsuit. Nancy Lund, Liesa Montag-Siegel and Robert Voelker say the prayers violate their constitutional rights and make them feel marginalized at meetings.
On July 23, U.S. District Court Judge James A. Beaty Jr. granted their request for an injunction and ordered the county to cease the prayers that favor one religion while the lawsuit makes its way through the courts.
At their first August meeting, the commissioners went behind closed doors to pray, to avoid violating the injunction.