Religion is already safe in N.D.Measure 3 was intended to protect religious liberty, but all it really does is allow people to sue the state or local governments claiming that laws don’t apply to them because of their religions.
Measure 3 was intended to protect religious liberty, but all it really does is allow people to sue the state or local governments claiming that laws don’t apply to them because of their religions.
Freedom of religion is already protected in the Bill of Rights, as it should be. Measure 3 would require the government to prove that it “has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act” in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief.
It sounds great on the surface, but let’s not forget the vast variety of practices out there based on sincerely-held religious beliefs, including polygamy, spousal abuse, child marriage, female genital mutilation and honor killings.
In other words, we’re not just talking about the right to wear a small cross necklace in a public school.
We’re also talking about a person suing the city because she got a parking ticket while attending church, or someone else suing the county for stopping him from beating his wife. We’re talking about someone suing to be allowed to fire an unwed mother for being an unwed mother.
Maybe these people wouldn’t win their suits, because their “religious activities” are still prohibited by other laws — but it sure would clog up the court system and cost a lot of taxpayer money.
And it can’t be guaranteed that courts will always find there is a “compelling governmental interest” in stopping all these actions.
This measure puts the right to religious freedom above a person’s right to safety and could be used to harm people who are vulnerable.
North Dakotans who value their freedom — religious and otherwise — should vote against Measure 3.