church and state hi res_newWritten by Don Byrd

Wyoming Public Media reports the state’s House Judiciary Committee passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act bill, sending it to the full House for consideration. Like other state RFRA debates, Wyoming’s is contentious, pitting the desire for greater protection of religious free exercise against the concerns that such expansion could harm the civil liberties of others.

Republican Nathan Winters of Thermopolis wants to keep the government from forcing people to do things that are contrary to their religious beliefs. 

Linda Burt of the American Civil Liberties Union fears it could go too far.

“Deny someone the right to marry because they disagree with their religion, their sex, their race, this could be used as applicable in child abuse cases, or in cases where parents refuse to provide medical treatment for children because of their religious beliefs.”

With House Bill 83, Wyoming’s legislature joins Indiana, North Carolina, Georgia and Texas in considering RFRA or RFRA-like bills this year.