May 22, 2018

WASHINGTON — Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) introduced today the Do No Harm Act, which would prevent the use of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to evade compliance with federal civil rights, labor, child welfare, and health care laws. The legislation is intended to restore RFRA to its original intent — protecting religious freedom — while making clear that it cannot be used to harm others.

Ian Thompson, legislative representative with the American Civil Liberties Union, had the following reaction:

“Religious freedom does not give anyone the right to discriminate. But RFRA has already been used to advance discrimination against women, LGBT individuals, and others. In this current climate, with a White House and Justice Department committed to using RFRA as a license to discriminate, it is more important than ever for Congress to make clear that this law is a shield for religious freedom — not a sword for discrimination. This legislation represents a meaningful step toward protecting women and LGBT individuals from discrimination, denial of health care, and other harms.”

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