Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest issued the following statement yesterday regarding HB 348, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Representative Martin was a co-sponsor of the proposed legislation:
“I am very disappointed to hear that the North Carolina House is not going to consider the North Carolina Religious Freedom Restoration Act (House Bill 348) during this session of the General Assembly.
“Recent polling shows that 85% of North Carolinians believe people should be able to live out their faith without fear of government prosecution. Twenty-eight states have a version of RFRA on the books with some dating back over twenty years. In all those states and over all those years, RFRA has never been used to discriminate. However in states without a RFRA Christians have been targets of government prosecution and this trend is continuing.
“It is my hope that the leadership in the Senate continues to move forward with legislation to protect all North Carolinians, of all faiths, from being punished for practicing their religion.”
21 other states have Religious Freedom Restoration statutes which are very similar to the language proposed in House Bill 348 (Alabama, Idaho, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Illinois, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Connecticut, Kansas, New Mexico, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Texas).
To learn more about what this legislation would (and wouldn’t do), please read these helpful articles from The Federalist regarding Indiana’s Religious Freedom Bill: