Letter stops grants to Florida churches (September 8, 2015)

The city of Ocala, Fla., has in the past used its discretionary fund to give grants to churches. Last year, the Ocala City Council provided a grant to First Presbyterian Church to repair its steeple. This year, St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church requested $10,000.

Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel wrote a letter to City Attorney Patrick Gilligan, noting that such grants violate the U.S. and Florida constitutions. The Florida Constitution says, “No revenue of the state . . . shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church.”

While maintaining he disagreed with FFRF’s position, Gilligan responded Sept. 8 that the council withdrew funding for St. Paul AME from its budget.


Freedom From Religion Foundation