Don't Allow Religion as an Excuse to Ignore the Law

POST BY Rana Elmir Deputy Director
December 01, 2014

Freedom of religion is one of our fundamental rights as Americans. That’s why it’s protected in the state and federal constitutions.

However, this week, our elected officials will consider broad new legislation – the Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) – that would put an individual’s religious beliefs ahead of the common good.

This poorly written bill would allow people take advantage of these flaws and claim that their religion gives them the right to ignore critical laws – laws that protect against child labor, domestic violence and discrimination.

Under this legislation, a police officer could refuse to defend a mosque or synagogue, a guidance counselor could deny help to a gay student, or a landlord could refuse to rent to a single mother—all based on their religious beliefs.

This is the last opportunity for legislators to get this bill passed this term.

By Rana Elmir, Deputy Director