Fla. House passes ban on applying religious law


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Florida House of Representatives passed legislation opposed by Jewish and Muslim groups that would ban the application of religious or foreign law in marriage, divorce or custody cases.

The bill is one of a number throughout the United States that has sought to limit the influence of Sharia, or Islamic law.

Jewish and Muslim activist groups opposed the measure, which passed the House on March 1 by a vote of 92-24.

Rep. Elaine Schwartz was one of two Jewish Democratic lawmakers who opposed the bill. Schwartz expressed concern that the law could negate divorces that were arbitrated by Jewish authorities, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The legislation now moves to the Florida Senate, but there is no timetable for when Senate leaders will bring the bill to the floor.

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