Proposed Ballot Initiative Could Allow North Dakotans To Refuse To Follow Law On Religious Grounds
Proposed Amendment Could Enshrine Religiously Based Discrimination In State Constitution And Threaten Health, Safety And Welfare In State
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org
BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Secretary of State received a petition today supporting a state constitutional amendment that could allow anyone – including employers, landlords and medical providers – to refuse to follow any law based on their religious views. Supporters of the so-called “Religious Liberty Restoration Amendment” claim to have gathered enough signatures to place the proposed constitutional amendment on the North Dakota ballot in the next general election.
If passed, the amendment could allow people to refuse to comply with any law if they claim a religious exemption.
The following can be attributed to Robert Doody, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of the Dakotas:
“North Dakotans have a proud history of respecting their neighbors’ right to live their lives according to what they believe, even if they do not share those beliefs. But this proposed amendment could lead people to refuse to follow virtually any law. It could allow people to argue that they have a right to abuse their children, refuse to hire people of different religious faiths or deny emergency health care.”
The following can be attributed to Daniel Mach, Director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief:
“While all North Dakotans should be free to practice their faith, the proposed amendment goes too far. There are better ways to protect religious freedom without legalizing discrimination and undoing many long-standing laws that protect the public and ensure that everyone is treated fairly.”
Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.
The Latest in National Security
ACLU Acknowledges Improvements to DOJ Racial Profiling Policy, But Says Far More is Needed
ACLU Applauds Court For Allowing Case Challenging FBI’s Wrongful Prosecution of Chinese American Physics Professor To Move Forward
Shen v. Simpson
Chinese Immigrants Sue Florida Over Unconstitutional and Discriminatory Law Banning Them From Buying Land
The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
Learn More About National Security
The ACLU’s National Security Project is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights.