Washington, D.C. — Last night, North Dakota ballot measure 3, the Religious Liberty Restoration Amendment, which Interfaith Alliance opposed, was voted down with two-thirds of North Dakotans voting against it. Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement thanking North Dakotan voters for protecting religious liberty:
I want to thank the voters of North Dakota who overwhelmingly stood up to protect religious liberty yesterday. Measure Three, the so-called Religious Liberty Restoration Amendment backed by the Religious Right, was written so broadly it could have allowed people to try to use religion and religious freedom as a trump card to justify breaking the law, and to deny people critical public health services and vital civil rights protections.
The fact is that amendments like Measure Three are designed to enable individuals and organizations to use religious freedom as a means to discriminate—and it’s clear that voters in North Dakota agree that’s not what our religious freedom is all about.
Religious freedom, as protected by our Constitution, is about letting people practice and express religious beliefs without being coerced or compelled to adopt a particular practice or viewpoint, and without the government favoring one religion or religious belief over another – including non-belief. It also means, my religious freedom extends only to the point at which my neighbor’s freedom begins.
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 www.interfaithalliance.org.