ST. LOUIS – Tucked into one line of Amendment 3, a tobacco tax-early childhood education funding initiative on Missouri’s ballot November 8, is a dangerous clause that could destroy the rights of Missourians to be free from forced support of religious institutions and activities.
“In one hidden line, the makers of Amendment 3 are undermining our American ideal of protecting religion and democracy,” said ACLU of Missouri Executive Director Jeffrey Mittman. “Amendment 3 is a dangerous Trojan Horse that violates the constitutional rights of all Missourians.”
Amendment 3 states: “Distributions of funds under this amendment shall not be limited or prohibited by the provisions of Article IX, section 8.”
Article IX, section 8 refers to the “Prohibition of public aid for religious purposes and institutions” in the 1875 Missouri Constitution.
“Allowing for freedom of religious expression is at the bedrock of our democracy,” Mittman said. “In order for the U.S. to remain a nation with some of the greatest religious freedom in the world, we must be vigilant of any laws that compromise our constitution.”
The ACLU of Missouri urges Missourians to vote no on Amendment 3 on November 8.