- Associated Press - Thursday, December 25, 2014

OCALA, Fla. (AP) - A Washington DC-based legal group is representing the north Florida town of Ocala in a federal lawsuit filed by atheists who objected to the city’s sponsoring of a prayer vigil.

The American Center for Law and Justice says it will defend the city in the federal lawsuit, which claims Ocala’s mayor, police chief and others violated separation of church and state by promoting the Sept. 25 vigil.

The Ocala Star-Banner (http://bit.ly/13ENPyy) reports that the vigil was promoted by city officials after drive-by shootings in which young children were injured.

Frances Jean Porgal, one of the suit’s plaintiffs, says the government’s use of tax dollars on a religious event violated the constitution.

David French, an attorney with the ACLJ, says the officials were working to restore peace in a lawful manner.

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Information from: Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner, http://www.starbanner.com/

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