Imagine a North Dakota Where Religious Freedom Flourishes
“Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge,” -Acts 4:19
Welcome to part two of our four-part series highlighting the vision of Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota. Today, we look at the second part of our vision – a North Dakota where religious freedom flourishes.
In 2006, Elaine Huguenin, an Albuquerque wedding photographer, respectfully declined a request to photograph a same-sex ceremony on the basis that her participation would violate her deeply held religious beliefs regarding marriage. Although the same-sex couple was able to find another photographer, they nonetheless filed a complaint against Elaine with the Human Rights Commission, commencing years of legal action that would ultimately make it to the New Mexico Supreme Court.
In August 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled against Elaine in a significant rejection of religious freedom. New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Richard Bosson conceded that the Court’s decision would have sobering results for people of faith, noting that Elaine and her husband were now “compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives.”, even though he concurred with the Court’s decision that this compulsory compromise was “the price of citizenship” in New Mexico.
New Mexico is just one example. Other examples across the nation include lawsuits brought against florists, calligraphers and others who say providing services to same-sex weddings would violate their religious beliefs. Unfortunately, these objectors have found little success in the lower courts, which have generally ruled that businesses serving the public must comply with state anti-discrimination laws.
Surely, this can’t happen in North Dakota? Think again. I recently spoke to a ministry partner who told me a customer complained that their bathrooms were only provided for men and women in their establishment, not for those who identify as “other.” It’s coming folks. Are we ready?
At Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota, we are dedicated to preserving our freedom to believe and live out our faith. We do this by promoting public policy that protects and enhances this freedom for individuals, families, churches, organizations, and companies. At the same time, we defend against policies that would erode constitutional protections for people of faith and the entities they operate.
Our founders recognized the freedom of religion to be so fundamental that they preserved it as our first freedom in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, protecting not only the freedom to believe, but also the freedom to freely exercise our beliefs. Do you agree with the founders? Do you share our passion for protecting religious freedom? If so, please forward this email to a group of your closest friends and encourage them to sign up for our email list.
Imagine a North Dakota where religious freedom continues to flourish. Together we can unleash biblical citizenship and transform this picture into reality, standing for religious freedom and the family of believers.
President and Executive Director