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Democratic lawmakers reintroduce Do No Harm Act

U.S. Reps. Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Reps. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.), with the full support of the American Civil Liberties Union, reintroduced the Do No Harm Act in Congress today to ensure that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) continues to protect religious freedom without being used to discriminate against  women, the LGBT community, and others.

Kennedy claimed in announcing the bill that “the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has become a vehicle for those seeking to impose their beliefs on others or claim that the tenants of their faith justify discrimination.”

“The Do No Harm Act will restore the balance between our right to religious freedom and our promise of equal protection under law,” he said.

“Religious freedom does not give anyone the right to discriminate. Numerous cases have shown that RFRA as written can lead to unacceptable civil rights violations,” said Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the ACLU. “President Trump’s religious liberty executive order signed on May 4 lays the groundwork for RFRA to be further misused as a license to discriminate. It’s now more important than ever to pass the Do No Harm Act to prevent discrimination under the guise of religious liberty.”

In August 2016, a federal district court ruled that RFRA exempts a religiously affiliated funeral home from sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after it fired a transgender employee.

In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that under RFRA, employers could refuse contraceptive coverage to their female employees based on the employers’ religious beliefs.



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Posted by on Jul 13, 2017. Filed under Around the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Democratic lawmakers reintroduce Do No Harm Act”

  1. Actually The First Amendment does allow for religious discrimination.
    What part of
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. ”

    That is the First Amendment Get use to it.

    Liz W.

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