December 14, 2011

Today, Judge Terry Lewis of the Second Judicial Circuit Court of Leon County ordered that the state be enjoined from putting a constitutional amendment removing Florida’s century-old protection against taxpayer funding of religious practices on the ballot. The judge found that the ballot language for the amendment proposed by the Legislature was misleading to voters.

The following statement on the judge’s order is from Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida.

“Judge Lewis’s decision today vindicates our position that the Legislature is once again trying to mislead the people of Florida.

“In stopping the state from putting this measure on the ballot, the judge found that the language written by the Legislature was deceptive. That the court found the Legislature’s ballot language misleading should come as no surprise. The Legislature clearly wanted to disguise its true intentions with misleading language rather than admit to voters what the real agenda was.

“The so-called “Religious Freedom” amendment isn’t about religious freedom – it’s about forcing taxpayers to provide funding for the religious activities of churches, mosques and synagogues. In fact, eliminating Florida’s protection against taxpayer funding of religious activities may be the greatest threat to religious freedom the state has seen in years.

“The court’s order should serve as a reminder to Florida voters to be very wary of anything the Legislature wants to do – especially on a topic this important. They are intentionally using deceptive language to trick us all into unknowingly sacrificing our freedoms.”

The judge’s order is available here:

More information: (786) 363 2737

2011 Press Releases