December 15, 2014


ACLU: Do you think homeless shelters should be allowed to refuse shelter to gay people because of their religious beliefs? What about a pharmacist refusing to dispense daily birth control or HIV medication for religious reasons?

This could be the very near future for those who live in Michigan. The State House just passed a new bill that allows people to use their religious beliefs to discriminate and it is being fast-tracked through the Senate.

If this bill passed, Michiganders may be required to follow the religious beliefs of their employers, grocers and pharmacists. There’s not much time, but a national outcry could be just the public pressure needed to stop this harmful bill.

Don’t let this bill advance any further — urge Governor Rick Snyder today calling on him to oppose H.B. 5958.

Religious freedom is one of our country’s fundamental values. That’s why it’s protected in the state and federal constitution. But that freedom does not give any of us the right to harm others.

Many states around the country have already tried to push through these “Religious Freedom and Restoration Act” (RFRA) bills in a misguided attempt to undermine LGBT equality.

Unfortunately, this broadly written bill is a Pandora’s box. It could allow individuals to decide that non-discrimination laws, child abuse laws, and domestic violence laws just don’t apply to them.

If passed, this bill could excuse any person from any state or local law that they claim “burdens” their exercise of religion. And this includes beliefs that do not stem from any established religion!

Act today — send a strong message to the Governor that no one should face discrimination based on someone else’s personal beliefs.

The bill could be used to permit people or businesses to deny employment, housing, or services to LGBT people, military members, or even addicts based on their religious views. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

These aren’t fantasy scenarios either. In Michigan, a school guidance counselor has already refused to help gay students because of her religious faith.

In Utah, a federal judge just held that the federal RFRA prevented the Department of Labor from fully investigating possible child labor law violations because the individual being investigated said that his religious beliefs forbade him from discussing such matters with the government.

One thing is abundantly clear: we need to stop this bill before it becomes law. Will you do your part to help?

Thanks for taking action,
Anthony for the ACLU Action Team