Fla. commissioners reinstate pre-meeting prayers

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

MIAMI — Miami-Dade Commission meetings will once again begin with a prayer.

Following a lengthy debate yesterday, commissioners voted 8-3 to reinstate prayer before public meetings for the first time since 2004.

The Miami Herald reported that the vote followed an 18-month lobbying effort by the Christian Family Coalition.

Commissioners approved an ordinance that calls for non-denominational prayers to be offered before the meetings officially begin. Commissioners will select the speakers or say a prayer themselves.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida said it would closely monitor a few meetings. The group said a lawsuit is “inevitable” if the prayers are sectarian in nature.

The bill’s sponsor, Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, says it has little to do with religion. He says it’s a matter of freedom of speech.

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