The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey has filed a lawsuit against the Point Pleasant Beach City Council for reciting the Lord's Prayer before its meetings begin.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of a former Jewish city employee who said she felt uncomfortable hearing the Christian prayer. The suit says the prayer unconstitutionally shows preference to a particular religion.
"People of all faiths and beliefs should feel welcome at public meetings," Sharon Cadalzo told New York television station WNYW. "It's a matter of fairness. No member of the community should feel that their beliefs exclude them from public life."
The city council has opened its meetings with the prayer since the mid-1990s.
Kevin Riordan, an attorney for Point Pleasant Beach, said that when the practice began at council meetings, there was no intention to discriminate against any one religion.