FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2023
Manisha Sunil, West End Strategy Team
email@example.com; Phone: 202-417-0171
Interfaith Leader Praises Reintroduction of the Do No Harm Act, Urges Swift Action in Congress
WASHINGTON—Religious freedom and civil rights advocates are celebrating the reintroduction of the Do No Harm Act in both the House and Senate, which would enshrine religious freedom protections while ensuring religion cannot be used to discriminate. The Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, president and CEO of Interfaith Alliance, urged swift action on the legislation, sharing:
“As a Baptist minister and longtime participant in the interfaith movement, I know firsthand the importance of faith in many people’s personal lives, as well as the role religion can play in the civic life of communities across the country. Unfortunately, in the past several years, we have seen how the constitutional right to religious freedom has been distorted and weaponized to the detriment of religious minorities, LGBTQ+ people, people seeking reproductive medical care, and more.
“People of faith and conscience know that religion should be a bridge, not a bludgeon. Our nation is built on the principle that each of us has the freedom to believe as we choose, with respect for others to do the same. Religious freedom should go hand in hand with civil rights: the Do No Harm Act codifies this patriotic sentiment into law, protecting the integrity of religion and democracy.”
The Do No Harm Act would clarify the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to ensure that no one can cite religious belief to undermine the Civil Rights Act, limit access to health care, or refuse services to those who live or love differently than they do.
Originally passed in 1993, RFRA affirmed the free exercise rights of religious minorities. In recent years, however, bad-faith interpretations of RFRA have distorted its purpose to justify discrimination and grant individuals and businesses the authority to impose their religious beliefs on others. These claims often hurt the very people RFRA was designed to protect, undermining the First Amendment in the process.
Interfaith Alliance has been a strong supporter of the Do No Harm Act for several years, and is part of a broad coalition of faith-based and civil rights groups that support the bill.
If you are interested in speaking further with Interfaith Alliance on this issue, please contact Manisha Sunil at (202) 417-0171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.