Supporters Rally Behind Faith and Family Services Amendment
|Friday, January 28, 2005||
Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774
ATLANTA, GA – Governor Sonny Perdue today joined advocates for the Faith and Family Services Amendment at the State Capitol, including the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta Wilton Gregory, to rally support for the amendment's passage by the General Assembly. The amendment will allow faith-based social service providers to compete for state funds without facing discrimination.
“I believe Georgians in need deserve access to the best family and social services, delivered by the best providers, whomever they may be. And I believe that if folks are moved by faith to do good works, that's something we should celebrate and encourage as a state, not penalize and prohibit,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “We need this amendment so that faith-based providers have the same opportunity as others to partner with the state and provide family and social services.”
Georgia's Constitution currently provides that “[n]o money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, cult, or religious denomination or of any sectarian institution.” This presents an even higher barrier to faith-based initiatives than the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Faith and Family Services Amendment will bring the Georgia Constitution in line with the U.S. Constitution.
Governor Perdue has asked State Senator Seth Harp to re-introduce the amendment in the legislature (SR49). The Governor first introduced the amendment prior to the 2004 legislation session. The Senate gave it full consideration and passed it with the two-thirds majority required for an amendment to the state Constitution. The former House leadership failed to consider the bill, leaving it to die in the Rules Committee.
Text of the Faith and Family Services Amendment
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution, in a manner consistent with the United States Constitution, so as to prevent discrimination in the public funding of social services by allowing religious or sectarian organizations to receive public aid, directly or indirectly, for the provision of such services; to provide for the submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
Article I, Section II of the Constitution is amended by adding the following underlined language so that Paragraph VII reads as follows:
“Paragraph VII. Separation of church and state. Except as permitted or required by the United States Constitution, as amended, no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, cult, or religious denomination or of any sectarian institution.”
The above proposed amendment to the Constitution shall be published and submitted as provided in Article X, Section I, Paragraph II of the Constitution. The ballot submitting the above proposed amendment shall have written or printed thereon the following:
( ) YES Shall the Constitution be amended in a manner consistent with the United
States Constitution so as to prevent discrimination in the public funding of
( ) NO health and social services by allowing religious or sectarian
organizations to receive a public aid, directly or indirectly, for the
provision of such services.
|View Faith and Family Services Amendment Fact Sheet (PDF)|