NASHVILLE - Casting aside questions about its constitutionality, state senators on Monday gave final approval to a bill designating the Holy Bible as Tennessee government's official book.
Senators voted 19-8 to send the bill, which passed the House last year, to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who recently expressed reservations, yet again, about the measure.
The vote came after a lengthy and sometimes passionate debate.
Bill sponsor Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown, an ordained minister, defended the bill, which states the Bible is being recognized for its "great historical and cultural significance in the State of Tennessee as a record of the history of Tennessee families that predates some modern vital statistical records."