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Texas Gov. Perry sued over prayer rally

Texas Gov. Perry sued over prayer rally
Texas Governor Rick Perry, shown here in 2006, promoted a "prayer meeting" in Houston. (UPI Photo/Kevin Dietsch) | License Photo

HOUSTON, July 14 (UPI) -- A group advocating separation of church and state has asked a court to bar Texas Gov. Rick Perry from promoting a day of prayer.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Houston, the Houston Chronicle reported. The Wisconsin-based foundation says Perry's active promotion of "The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis" violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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The named plaintiffs are five Houston residents. They say that as a citizen Perry is free to advocate any religion or none at all but that as governor he cannot endorse an explicitly religious event.

The event is scheduled for Aug. 6 in Austin. Perry proclaimed the day to be one of prayer and fasting and describes "The Response" as "a non-denominational apolitical Christian prayer meeting."

"The Response" is also sponsored by the American Family Association, a Christian evangelical group. The association has called for boycotts of companies that provide benefits for same-sex partners and advocated a law requiring U.S. congressional representatives to be sworn in on the Bible, the newspaper said.

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Perry spokesman Mark Miner said the lawsuit will not change his plans.

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