Washington State Constitution Forbids Public Funding of ANY Religious Establishment

In recent years, the bishops of the Catholic Church have argued that Catholic hospitals are religious organizations first and foremost and therefore should be exempted from requirements that its employees have insurance coverage for birth control.

According to the Washington State Constitution, that means Catholic hospitals are prohibited from receiving ANY state funding:

Text of Section 11:

Religious Freedom
Absolute freeedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief, and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state.  No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or the support of any religious establishment; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That this article shall not be so construed as to forbid the employment by the state of a chaplain for such of the state custodial, correctional, and mental institutuions, or by a county’s or public hospital district, health care facility, or hospice, as in the discretion of the legislature may seem justified.
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