Council for Secular Humanism Sues Governor Jeb Bush for Subsidizing Religious Groups with Florida Taxpayer Funds

For Immediate Release: July 22, 2005
Contact: Jefferson Seaver, Communications - (207) 358-9785

Cites Violation of the Blaine Amendment

(July 22, 2005 – Tallahassee, Florida) The Council for Secular Humanism today filed suit in the Leon County Courthouse to stop Governor Jeb Bush from continuing to violate the prohibition in the Florida State Constitution against “directly or indirectly” using Florida tax dollars to fund churches, synagogues or mosques.

“Our lawsuit is simple: Governor Jeb Bush has set up a network of state- funded entities to channel government funds to religious organizations in the State of Florida, and we want it stopped,” said David Koepsell, Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism from their Amherst, New York headquarters.

Koepsell noted that in short, the Council agrees with the late Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, who said: “A union of government and religion tends to destroy government and degrade religion.” See

Engle v. Vitale

, 370 U.S. 421, 431 (1962). Concluded Koepsell, “Since the Florida Constitution is clear, we are confident of a successful outcome, but we are equally certain that it will be a long fight.”

Kenneth Berquist, Esq. of West Palm Beach, Florida is representing the Council in the Florida courts in this case.

Kenneth P. Bergquist

444 29th Street

West Palm Beach, Florida 33407

Telephone: 561-308-9458

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at