Amendment 8 as it will appear on the November 6 ballot:

 

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ARTICLE I, SECTION 3

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution providing that no individual or entity may be denied, on the basis of religious identity or belief, governmental benefits, funding, or other support, except as required by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and deleting the prohibition against using revenues from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.

 

Below are the actual changes that Amendment 8 will make to the Florida Constitution. Underlined words are additions and words stricken through are deletions:

 

ARTICLE I

DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

SECTION 3. Religious freedom. — There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof. Religious freedom shall not justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace, or safety. Except to the extent required by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, neither the government nor any agent of the government may deny to any individual or entity the benefits of any program, funding, or other support on the basis of religious identity or belief. No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.

 

What is the net effect of this change?

 

  • Amendment 8 deletes the explicit separation of church and state that’s been in Florida’s Constitution for more than 125 years.
  • Amendment 8 will allow your tax dollars to be given to any group or sect that calls itself a religion.