Hawaii Senate ends daily chamber prayers - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii Senate ends daily chamber prayers

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In response to a scene that played out in the Senate Chambers last legislative session, senators have chosen to forego invocations held at the start of each floor session.

Thursday's decision was made after careful thought and consideration, with the state attorney general offering his opinion, as well as claims of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.

There is still a loophole in the rules that allows for invocations, just on a case-by-case basis.

Senators say they need time to develop rules that allow for the content of any invocation to be constitutionally sound.

"It's not saying that everyone should be a Christian or everyone should be a believer, but it's a recognition that God does exist and to live a healthy life and that faith is important", said Rev. Dan Chun of the First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu.

"We're not going to be threatened by a suit. I think it came down to everybody's individual process on how to conduct their spiritual business", said Senator Brickwood Galuteria.

We did speak with Mitch Kahle, who started the ruckus last year. He says the decision is a victory for the people and just another step in the quest for lawmakers to follow the laws.

The house side still conducts invocations before the start of each floor session.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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