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Florida Vote Could Repeal Blaine Amendment

The amendment bans the use of public money for religious groups.

Florida voters will have a chance to change the religious freedom section of their state constitution this year.

If passed, Amendment 8 would remove the state's "Blaine Amendment," a ban of state money for religious or sectarian groups that critics say is a legal remnant of anti-Catholic bias. Currently, 37 states have Blaine Amendments; both the Florida and Georgia legislatures failed in their attempts to repeal their states' amendments in 2010.

Later that year, Christianity Today reported on the ongoing battle over Blaine Amendments—specifically, a Florida court battle where two state-contracted Christian nonprofits were sued for using state funds to proselytize to residents at their halfway homes for substance abusers. (The state Supreme Court denied a review of the case in 2010; the case was on a circuit court's docket as of March 2011.)

Amendment 8 will be on the November 6 ballot.

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