Hawaii senators hold prayer despite vote to end it

AP

HONOLULU – A group of nine Hawaii senators held hands, bowed their heads and sought God’s blessing Wednesday, signaling that they’ll still pray despite a vote last week to abandon official invocations.

Fears of court challenges compelled the state Senate to end prayers, making it the first legislative body in the nation to do so.

The informal prayer Wednesday took place in the Senate chamber before the daily lawmaking session, convened in such a way so as not to contradict the decision to remove invocations from Senate business.

“The message is that not all senators have eliminated prayer,” said Sen. Will Espero, D-Ewa-Ewa Beach-Lower Waipahu, who organized the group. “We’re well within the confines of the law.”

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