Miami-Dade Commissioners Vote to Reinstate Prayer Before Public Meetings

Following a lengthy debate on Tuesday, commissioners voted 8-3 to reinstate prayer.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012  |  Updated 8:05 AM EDT
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The bill's sponsor is Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz.

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

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

The Miami Herald reports the vote followed a 18-month lobbying effort by the Christian Family Coalition.

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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 says it will closely monitor a few meeting. They say a lawsuit is "inevitable" if the prayers are sectarian in nature.

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The bill's sponsor is Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz, who says it has little to do with religion. He says it's a matter of freedom of speech.

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