Missouri House approves religious expression amendment

Thursday, March 10, 2011 | 3:01 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — For the sixth year in a row, the Missouri House has approved a proposed constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to pray privately in public places.

The amendment would prohibit Missouri cities, counties and schools from adopting policies to prevent prayer or other religious demonstrations in public places.

Thursday's 126-30 House vote sent the measure to the Senate, where it has died in previous years. Senate passage would put the amendment on a statewide ballot in November 2012.

Rep. Mike McGhee, R-Odessa, says his amendment is needed because schools are using the concept of separation of church and state to prevent students from praying privately.

Opponents said the amendment would take away a person's freedom to not be affected by someone else's beliefs.

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