Rewire this morning announced via email a new interactive tool for tracking the landscape of “religious imposition bills” (generally referred to by the enemies of humanity as “Religious Freedom™ bills”). As the release notes, already in 2017, 30 such bills have been introduced in state legislatures around the nation, including New York. It’s a good page to bookmark whether you are a writer or activist, as the fight on this front directly intersects with so many others. In addition, being a squeaky wheel at your state representatives’ offices and local newspaper is something all of us can do, and do more of, whenever these bills pop up.
To: Interested parties
From: Rewire President and Editor in Chief Jodi L. Jacobson, and Director of Communications Rachel Perrone
Re: Tracking tool for religious imposition bills
Date: January 18, 2017
We are writing to alert you to our Religious Imposition Legislative Tracker, a new resource from Rewire that provides a comprehensive database and interactive map of state and federal legislation that seeks to expand religious power control of decision-making in the public and private sphere.
The past few years have seen a sharp increase in legislative efforts to shield private individuals and businesses from complying with nondiscrimination laws, and permit them to deny people basic services based on stated religious beliefs. Around 30 such religious imposition bills have been introduced so far in 2017, in Alabama, Colorado, Kentucky, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
Religious imposition frequently takes the form of expanded Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA) in state legislatures across the country. Other types of religious imposition include anti-transgender bills (or so-called “bathroom bills”), that target specific groups and seek to shield businesses and individuals from anti-discrimination laws. Still others, such as conscience and refusal bills, permit civil servants, health-care workers, and others to deny people access to birth control, abortion and other basic services based on a moral or religious objection.
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