Congress Introduces Legislation to Block Use of Religious Freedom Restoration Act to Discriminate

February 28, 2019 10:30 am

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WASHINGTON — Members of Congress introduced the Do No Harm Act today, 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, senior legislative representative with the American Civil Liberties Union, had the following reaction:

“RFRA should be a shield for religious freedom — not a sword for discrimination. But this administration has spent two years weaponizing religious liberty in its hostility against marginalized communities, including most recently allowing government-contracted child welfare agencies in South Carolina to turn away would-be foster and adoptive parents because they are the ‘wrong religion.’ It is now more important than ever for Congress to defend the American people from these attacks. The Do No Harm Act represents a meaningful step toward protecting individuals from discrimination, denial of health care, and other harms.”

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