Oklahoma House passes ‘merry Christmas Bill’

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma House has approved legislation that authorizes public school students, teachers and other school staff members to greet each other with traditional phrases like merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and happy holidays.

The House voted 73-10 for the measure Monday and sent it to the Senate.

The bill says public schools can display scenes or symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations on school property providing they include more than one religion or one religion and at least one secular symbol.

Republican Rep. Bobby Cleveland of Norman authored the bill and says the legislation will protect Oklahoma schools from lawsuits over religious-based holiday displays.

Opponents say such displays are already allowed. A proposal to include Kwanzaa, a celebration that honors African heritage, was tabled.

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Online:

House Bill 2317: http://bit.ly/1bG9rs3

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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