While HSB 50 has been shelved, work toward religious liberty must go on.
Des Moines, IA – American Principles in Action believes Iowans must have their religious liberty protected. We don’t believe that HSB 50, the “Religious Conscience Protection Act” that failed to make it out its subcommittee yesterday had the language necessary to do that. We believe the focus on marriage made a law that should have bipartisan support, more divisive than it should be. Our desire is that Iowa adopt language similar to other states* that have passed laws protecting religious liberty.
We simply want to see the standard that has historically protected religious freedom restored – the “compelling state interest” test. The state should have to justify burdens placed on religious liberty. This law would simply ensure that these liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Iowa Constitution are protected, but unfortunately in recent years that protect has diminished at both the federal and state level. Protection, for instance, for orthodox Jews who could be forced to submit their loved ones to an autopsy or Catholic health care workers whose employment would be a risk because of religious-based refusals to perform abortions.
So while HSB 50 has been shelved we challenge our state’s lawmakers to continue to work toward religious liberty protection.
*States that have passed Religious Freedom Restoration Acts are Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.