Amendment 8 in Florida — euphemistically known as the Florida Religious Freedom Amendment — would have allowed taxpayer money to go to religious schools and houses of worship. Which, in the eyes of church/state separation advocates, would be an awful thing:
This is currently Section 3, Article I of the Florida Constitution:
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. 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.
This is what voting Yes on Amendment 8 would have done:
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. No individual or entity may be discriminated against or barred from receiving funding on the basis of religious identity or belief.
Thankfully, with 100% of the precincts reporting, voters have correctly rejected the Amendment:
I will update this page as updated results come in. Keep in mind that you must have 60% of the votes in order to pass an amendment in Florida, so this one isn’t even close.
For now, the wall between church and state remains standing!
***Update***: A couple of atheists are rejoicing on Twitter:
I’m psyched about amendment 8 failing. Thank you #fsr12 attendees an organizers
— David Silverman (@MrAtheistPants) November 7, 2012
Florida Amendment 8 loses: A victory for church-state separation!
— David Niose (@ahadave) November 7, 2012