SC county leaders to follow 2008 law on prayer

SPARTANBURG, SC - SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - The chairman of a South Carolina county council says the panel will follow a 2008 law on prayer at meetings, after a Christian prayer this month drew criticism.

The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg said Spartanburg County Council Chairman Jeff Horton said he will try to make sure the chaplain prays at meetings.

Councilman O'Neal Mintz gave a controversial prayer at the March 15 meeting in place of the chaplain, who was absent. Mintz' comments about Jesus Christ, abortion and same-sex marriage prompted at least one complaint.

A 2008 law says government bodies can have a prayer by a designated chaplain, that members pray on "an objective and rotating basis" or that local religious leaders pray.

A federal court ruled in 2004 that public bodies can not name the deity of a specific religion in a prayer.

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