- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - A Democratic lawmaker has offered a secular prayer on the House floor after Republican leadership turned down his request to offer a daily prayer during opening ceremonies.

Rep. Juan Mendez of Tempe offered the prayer Monday after about 150 members of the Secular Coalition for Arizona protested outside the Legislature. The prayer comes on the heels of the City of Phoenix adopting a moment of silence to avoid allowing Satanists to give an opening prayer before a city council meeting.

The Legislature revised conditions for leading the prayer in January. The memo from House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro of Litchfield Park said a prayer must include a request for guidance from God.

Opponents from the Secular Coalition for Arizona say the conditions exclude atheists and are unconstitutional.

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