AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage, other top Republicans and a few Democrats gathered at the State House today to announce the formation of the Maine Legislative Prayer Caucus.

More than 100 people and about 50 legislators took part in the ceremony.

“Always our courts are taking symbols of religion out of our public houses, but they can’t take religion out of our hearts,” LePage said.

Maine legislators have had a prayer caucus since the 1940s, but took the steps last year to become a formal group, said Rep. David Burns, R-Whiting. Maine is the sixth state to formalize the creation of a prayer caucus, he said.

Attorney General William Schneider, Senate President Kevin Raye and House Speaker Robert Nutting also spoke at the ceremony.

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