MIAMI (AP) - Miami-Dade Commission meetings will once again begin with a prayer.
Following a lengthy debate on Tuesday, commissioner voted 8-3 to reinstate prayer before public meetings for the first time since 2004.
The Miami Herald (http://hrld.us/SFMBum ) reports the vote followed a 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 says it will closely monitor a few meeting. They say a lawsuit is "inevitable" if the prayers are sectarian in nature.
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.
Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com
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