The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners has voted to
restore prayer to open meetings.
In 2004, two members of the board decided they were offended with Christian
prayer and successfully lobbied fellow members to open instead with
a moment of silence. The Christian Family Coalition got to work and one
of the hostile members was replaced with a Christian, as spokesman
Anthony Verdugo explains.
"To eliminate religious speech in the form of solemnizing the
prayer is discrimination, and so what we told the commissioners is
all we want to do is restore free-speech rights and restore speech
equality so that everyone can speak openly and freely so long as
it's civil discourse," he tells OneNewsNow.
The commission voted 8-3 to restore prayer prior to the roll
call for the meeting.
"We are a metropolitan area, but we also have to be an inclusive
and welcoming community and we talk about being inclusive and
welcoming and tolerant," he says. "That includes people of faith
also because we too are part of this community. We're not isolated
from it, so our free-speech rights must also be respected and
Under the policy, the commissioners will select on a rotating
basis someone from the area to conduct the prayer -- or
commissioners themselves can elect to offer the prayer.