The Texas state senate passed the Merry Christmas Bill and it has now been sent to Governor Rick Perry for his signature.
The bill would clarify that schools may have Christmas trees, nativity scenes and other displays as long as any display includes a scene or symbol of more than one religion.
â€œThis will provide students, parents, teachers and administrators a safe harbor for openly celebrating a federal holiday without fear of litigation or retribution,â€ said Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville. â€œOur school officials and teachers have enough on their plates without having to worry about frivolous lawsuits and retribution for recognizing Christmas or Hanukkah.â€ Nichols said the guidelines for exchange of greetings such as â€œMerry Christmasâ€ and â€œHappy Hanukkah,â€ as well as the display of symbols marking those holidays, are consistent with rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The legislation does prohibit a display relating to a traditional winter celebration from including a message that encourages adherence to a particular religious belief. After approval of the legislation, Nichols told other senators, â€œThank you members and Merry Christmas to you all.â€