Written by Don Byrd
Via Get Religion, the Deseret News (which is owned by a subsidiary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) has published an extremely valuable report, focused on religious liberty legislation currently pending or recently passed in state legislatures across the country. The analysis is part of a 6-month investigation into the “state of religious freedom in America.”
All together, the report identified and catalogued 139 bills, which are searchable by topic or state. The project is described this way:
The Deseret News spent the past two months researching proposed legislation across the nation to try to gain some sense of where this battle [“over the place of faith in the public square”] is heading… In all, the Deseret News found 139 bills regarding religious freedom that were debated so far this year. These bills cover everything from religious clubs in elementary schools to state officials authorized to solemnize weddings, but most deal with LGBT rights, free speech, health care and adoption.
This analysis sets the stage for a six-month investigation into the state of religious freedom in America. The Deseret News will explore key conflicts affecting people of faith, sharing the stories of religious college students who feel silenced by school leaders and families caught in the middle of fights over faith-based adoption agencies.
Democrats and Republicans, young and old, once rallied around religious freedom. This project will explore why that’s no longer the case.
I previously posted about what appears to be a coordinated effort by certain religious free exercise advocates to pass “model legislation” related to religious liberty across the country. So it’s not surprising to find 100+ bills, but the variety of topics goes far beyond “In God We Trust” legislation. It’s worth a look.