ACLU files record request to uncover any public money used for Perry prayer event
The ACLU of Texas announced today it’s asking Gov. Rick Perry to disclose any public funds used for “The Response,” Perry’s prayer rally scheduled next month at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.
The civil liberties group is asking for transparency from Houston as well, filing an open records request with the Harris County sheriff, auditor and fire marshal’s offices and with the City of Houston.
“We are concerned that Gov. Perry is using public office to endorse a sectarian religious event and to advance specific Christian beliefs,” said Lisa Graybill, ACLU Texas’ legal director in a statement. “We are seeking information on the degree to which state resources have been or will be used for the planning and promotion of this event and for state officials’ participation in it.”
The ACLU expects a response on or before August 3, just three days before the Houston rally. You can read copies of the requests here.
Last week, The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a federal lawsuit against Perry, questioning the constitutionality of his involvement in the prayer event, the Texas Independent previously reported.
Meanwhile today, CNN reported it’s unclear just what part Perry will play in the event he’s organized — or even if he’ll speak at all. Whether the governor will speak has not yet been decided at this point,” American Family Association spokesman Eric Bearse told CNN.
Earlier this week, Perry appeared to distance himself from “endorsers” of the event whose extreme beliefs have made the event particularly controversial. “Just because you endorse me doesn’t mean I endorse everything you say or do,” Perry said Monday.