Following Committee Approval, Catholic Conference Urges Swift House Passage of Religious Freedom Restoration Act
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lansing, Mich.) — Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy Tom Hickson made the following comments this morning after the House Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 5958, which would create a Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act:
“The committee’s approval is a most welcome first step; it is now incumbent upon the full House to pass Speaker Bolger’s bill quickly to allow for the Senate to address this critical policy as soon as possible,” said Hickson. “A Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act is good for tolerance and diversity, it is good for individual and religious liberties, and it is for the common good of society.”
In 1993 President Clinton signed and Congress passed with near unanimous support a federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The legislation ensures that citizens are able to exercise their First Amendment religious liberty rights in the public square, without coercion or discrimination from the state or others. That Act only applies to the federal government, and since 1993 some 20 states have since passed versions that mirror the federal law.
Hickson continued in support of HB 5958, stating:
“From the very beginning of our founding as a nation, and throughout our history, religious liberty and the freedom to exercise those beliefs in the public square have been sacred. However, in recent years, these cherished freedoms have come under unnecessary, yet aggressive attack.”
Hickson concluded his comments by stating the bill is needed for “society to be more tolerant of those with differing beliefs to ensure that Michigan remains welcoming to everyone.”
Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.