Florida State Senators voted to approve legislation that abolishes previous rules that prevented religious services and events from being conducted on school property.

“Part of what we’re protecting is those basic rights for religious expression, which are protected free speech, and we’re letting people know it doesn’t stop at the property line of the school site,” Republican Sen. Dennis Baxley said. “We owe our educators some clarity on this so it can be applied uniformly across the state and in a way that respects all faiths and [people of] no faith.”

The vote on the bill (SB 436) was 23-13, reports Miami Herald.

The bill was introduced by Baxley, who said the state’s lawmakers should take a stand and allow students and teachers to practice their constitutionally protected right to freedom of religion, regardless of what personal beliefs they hold.

With the new legislation in place, WRN reports Florida’s public schools are obliged to allow students to lead religious prayers during school operating hours, grant access to school facilities for student religious groups and allow students to pray at school-run events — activities that previously were strictly prohibited in the state.

Read more at Gospel Herald