October 2021 Church & State Magazine | AU Bulletin

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) re-introduced the Do No Harm Act in the U.S. Senate Sept. 15, a move that was hailed by Americans United.

This bill will preserve the power of 1993’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to protect religious freedom, while also clarifying that it may not be used to harm others.

“The Do No Harm Act will uphold our country’s founding principle of religious freedom – that everyone has the freedom to believe as they want, but our laws cannot allow anyone to use their religious beliefs to harm others,” said Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United.

Laser added, “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was intended to protect free exercise and religious minorities, yet some are misusing this law to circumvent nondiscrimination protections and deny people access to health care, jobs and government-funded services. This exploitation of religious freedom especially harms LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities and the nonreligious by undermining their civil rights and equality. The Do No Harm Act would preserve RFRA’s power to protect religious exercise while ensuring it cannot be used to cause harm. We thank Sen. Cory Booker for sponsoring the Do No Harm Act, and we urge Congress to quickly pass this critical bill to ensure that religious freedom remains a shield that protects all of us, not a sword used to harm others.”

U.S. Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.) re-introduced the Do No Harm Act (H.R. 1378) in the House in February. The bill has 138 co-sponsors in the House.

Tags