Miami-Dade County

ACLU opposes Miami-Dade Commission proposal to reinstate pre-meeting prayers

 

In a letter to commissioners, the ACLU urged commissioners to keep their opening moment of silence, warning that prayer could be “divisive” and lead to a possible lawsuit.

pmazzei@MiamiHerald.com

The ACLU of Florida on Wednesday formally opposed a proposal to reinstate opening prayers at Miami-Dade Commission meetings.

The proposal, by Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, is scheduled for a final vote Tuesday.

In a letter to commissioners, ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon and John de Leon, president of the organization’s Greater Miami chapter, urged commissioners to keep their opening moment of silence, warning that prayer could be “divisive” and lead to a possible lawsuit.

“Inevitably, as the Commission has experienced in the past, some religious leader will offer an invocation that may genuinely be intended not to ‘advance any particular faith,’ but which will not be so interpreted by members of the community who are in attendance and who may be made to feel uncomfortable, marginalized and like second-class citizens of our community because their religious views differ from those offered by the Commission-invited religious leader,” the letter says.

Diaz’s proposal would require the county to create a database of local religious leaders who would be limited to the number of invocations they could deliver at the county each year. Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s administration estimates that setting up the database would cost $22,000, with about $4,000 in annual maintenance costs.

Read more Political Currents stories from the Miami Herald

  • CAMPAIGN FINANCE

    High court weighs campaign cash in judicial races

    The Florida Bar said it stands behind its position that judicial candidates should not personally solicit contributions, but that appellate courts across the country have taken differing positions.

  • CAMPAIGN 2014 | Analysis

    Governor candidates stump on Labor Day

    Rick Scott in some respects makes it easy on journalists. If a reporter misses something he says in an interview, maybe even spaces out for a moment, it doesn’t really matter because Scott is certain to say the same thing again. And again. And again.

  • PolitiFact Florida

    Reviewing the record of Charlie Crist, Gov. Rick Scott on education

    As Florida’s students return to school this month, we thought it was a good time to review PolitiFact Florida’s fact-checks.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category