Now Reading
North Carolina introduces ‘religious freedom’ bill even worse than Indiana’s

North Carolina introduces ‘religious freedom’ bill even worse than Indiana’s

As Governor Mike Pence signed Indiana’s ‘religious freedom’ law on Thursday (26 March), an even worse bill passed its first reading in North Carolina.

The NC Religious Freedom Restoration Act, introduced last week in both the House and Senate, says the state ‘shall not burden a person’s right to exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.’

The proposed law would allow individuals, businesses and organizations to ignore laws that violate their religious beliefs – including current or future anti-discrimination laws – and even let hospitals turn away LGBTI patients.

‘Nobody wants to see this. You’ve got a handful of legislators that are pushing this on the state of North Carolina,’ Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, told WNCN.

‘North Carolinians don’t want this, North Carolinians actually believe overwhelmingly in protections for LGBT and other people against discrimination.’

But Rep Skip Stam, one of the sponsors of the bill, said religious freedom was ‘the first freedom.’

‘It’s what a lot of people came to North Carolina for originally, was to have religious freedom, at that time from the Church of England,’ he said.

But he assured that there were limits to the proposed law.

‘If you had a person who believes in child sacrifice as part of their religious principles, we’re not going to allow that,’ he said.

The bill has been re-referred to the judiciary committee.