Prayers in Ohio House

By Peter Ambrose

June 18, 2010 Updated May 28, 2010 at 6:39 PM EDT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's House speaker will allow prayers given by visiting clergy before legislative sessions to mention specific deities such as Jesus Christ.

Republican Speaker Jon Husted of Kettering says he will ignore past guidelines that said prayers must be nonsectarian and non-denominational. He will ask that prayers not mention specific legislation or advocate specific positions.

The new prayer policy went into effect as lawmakers returned in September from summer recess.

The new policy may rest on shaky legal ground. Some courts have ruled that legislative prayer should not proselytize or reference a specific deity. But others have said sectarian prayer is constitutional as long as legislators allow prayers from various religions.




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