AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Christmas may be six-plus months away, but it s already on the minds of Gov. Rick Perry and many in the state Legislature.
The governor Thursday signed into law a bipartisan bill removing any legal risks of saying Merry Christmas in Texas public schools. He said religious freedom does not mean freedom from religion.
Traditional holiday symbols, such as a menorah or nativity scene, also are protected, so long as more than one religion and a secular symbol are also reflected.
The measure s sponsor, Houston Republican Rep. Dwayne Bohac, says it will provide schools cover from ridiculous lawsuits sparked by too much political correctness.
Bohac s bill sailed through both chambers to Perry s desk.
About 10 Santa Claus impersonators were invited to the ceremony and rang sleigh bells as he signed it.