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Michigan Approves Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 | Tag Cloud

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

LANSING (Worthy News)-- The Michigan House of Representatives has approved a state version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act despite claims that the bill will give license for religious discrimination, according to Christian News.

The proposed statue states: "The free exercise of religion is an inherent, fundamental, and unalienable right secured by Article 1 of the state Constitution of 1963 and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution." Many understand that these rights are not granted by government, or the Constitution, but by God himself.

The bill is modeled on the federal RFRA, which was signed into law in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. But since the law only applies on the federal level, the U.S. Supreme Court urged states to enact their own versions. To that end, HB 5958 cleared the House Judiciary Committee and then was passed 59-50 by the full House. It now goes to the Senate and if approved, the governor will sign it into law.

HB 5958 mandates that laws cannot substantially burden the religious unless those laws serve a compelling government interest and use the least restrictive way to further it. The bill allows anyone to legally challenge any law they think violates their religious liberties.

However, House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Mich) has met opposition from liberals who claim the bill promotes discrimination. Democrats who spoke against the RFRA were opposed to allowing business owners to decline homosexual requests that violate their conscience, or allowing pharmacy employees to refuse to dispense birth control based on their own religious beliefs.

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