Response to Indiana RFRA
Statement by the Becket Fund
WASHINGTON, DC, 02.04.2015 (Becket Fund) – Today the Becket Fund hosted a press conference call to discuss the implications of the Indiana’s “fix” to its Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty made following statement:
The proposed “fix” to Indiana’s RFRA is unnecessary. Our country has had over 20 years of experience with RFRAs and we know what they do: They provide crucial protections to religious minorities. The key disagreement is over what should happen in a very small class of cases where individuals are asked to participate in a same-sex wedding in violation of their religious beliefs. In that situation, there are two possibilities: (1) Our government can drive religious people out of business, fine them, and possibly even imprison them; or (2) our government can say that these religious people deserve a day in court, and that courts should carefully balance religious liberty with other competing values.
The original RFRA would give people their day in court; the proposed “fix” would be a green light for driving religious people out of business. Our society should not settle this issue by punishing religious people before they even have their day in court.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. For over 20 years, it has defended clients of all faiths, including Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians. Its recent cases include two major Supreme Court victories: the landmark ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, and the 9-0 ruling in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, which The Wall Street Journal called one of “the most important religious liberty cases in a half century.”