Floridians have long understood the importance of keeping the state from using public tax dollars to aid religious groups and institutions. The current provision was incorporated in the state constitution in 1885 and was reenacted in 1968. And, Florida is not alone in recognizing the need for no-aid provisions. Thirty-seven other states have similar provisions in their constitutions.
Today, Florida has vibrant religious communities, not in spite of these constitutional provisions, but because of them. The no-aid provision in the Florida Constitution has served Florida well for over a century and Amendment 8 is not needed to allow partnerships between faith-based institutions and the government. Amendment 8 only serves to loosen church-state safeguards for those partnerships and threaten Florida’s religious freedom and public schools.
Amendment 8 will be on the November 2012 ballot and must be approved by sixty percent of Florida voters in order to pass. We urge you to learn more about the serious harms Amendment 8 could inflict on so many fellow Floridians.
- Rabbi Merrill ShapiroPresident, Board of TrusteesPresident, Flagler County Chapter, Americans United for Separation of Church and State
- The Rev. Dr. Harold BrockusPresident, Pinellas ChapterAmericans United for Separation of Church and State
- The Rev. Harry ParrottPresident, Clay County ChapterAmericans United for Separation of Church and State