Protect Thy Neighbor is monitoring and fighting bills across the country that would allow individuals, businesses, and government employees to harm others in the name of religion. The most common bills would allow discrimination against LGBTQ Americans and deny access to reproductive healthcare, but these bills have other negative and far reaching consequences as well. You can learn more about the bills that have been introduced in your state below.
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RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACTS
These bills would create or expand a state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. RFRAs authorize religious exemptions to each and every state law on the books. If any state law or policy is deemed to place a “substantial burden” on the religious beliefs of a person (and often even a for-profit corporation), the state must show that it has a “compelling interest” and that the law is “narrowly tailored” to fulfilling that interest. Although RFRAs were originally intended to protect genuine religious freedom, many states are now adopting RFRAs in order to override nondiscrimination laws and deny women reproductive healthcare. For more on RFRA, including talking points on why states shouldn't adopt Indiana-like RFRAs or replicate the federal RFRA, please check out our RFRA page.
FIRST AMENDMENT DEFENSE ACTS
Also known as FADAs, these are based on a federal bill that would allow private businesses, federal contractors and grantees, and even government employees to discriminate against same-sex couples, unmarried couples, people who have remarried, single mothers, those who have had sex outside of marriage, and others. Some state bills are narrower or broader than the federal FADA; however, all of these bills seek to sanction discrimination, allowing individuals and entities to ignore laws that conflict with their religious beliefs about marriage. See more about FADAs here.
Bill Status House Committee hearing set for February 12, 2019 at 3:30 PM
Bill Type State FADA
Bill Text Not yet released
These bills would allow or even require government employees, for-profit business, or government contractors and grantees to discriminate against same-sex couples who are married or seeking to marry. Find out more about this issue on our marriage page.
Pastor Protection Acts: Generally, these bills prohibit the state from requiring clergy and religious institutions to perform marriages for same-sex or other couples if such marriages conflict with their religious beliefs. Some Pastor Protection Acts, however, are more expansive and would also allow commercial entities owned or run by religious organizations to refuse to provide any wedding related services to couples whose marriage conflicts with their religious beliefs. See more about clergy and marriage equality here.
Nullification Of Marriage Equality: These bills would defy the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Constitution by declaring that the state will recognize only marriages between one man and one woman.
These bills would allow government-funded agencies to deprive children of safe, loving, and happy families in order to facilitate religion-based discrimination against families with LGBTQ or single parents. Check out our talking points here.
Bill Status HB 1152 set for Subcommittee hearing on March 5, 2019
Bill Type Adoption
Bill Text Here