Oklahoma lawmaker resigns as coordinator of chaplain program

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Rep. Chuck Strohm (R-Jenks) has stepped down as the coordinator of the Oklahoma House's visiting chaplain program. ({ }

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A Republican Oklahoma lawmaker who faced criticism from interfaith leaders for his handling of the state House's visiting chaplain program says he is stepping down as the program's coordinator.

Rep. Chuck Strohm of Jenks said in a statement Friday that, effective immediately, he is no longer serving in the role. He did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

Interfaith leaders chided Strohm for denying a House member's request for a local Muslim imam to serve as the visiting minister in the House. Strohm then changed the rules of the program to allow only ministers from a member's "own place of worship."

Some House members said that denied non-Christians an opportunity to participate.

House Speaker Charles McCall later said he planned to change how the program was operated.

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