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House Approves Religious Liberty Bill, House Bill 27903 Mar

Final House Vote HB 279

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At the end of a 37-minute floor debate, the KY House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in support of the religious liberty bill introduced by Rep. Bob Damron. This was one of the priority issues the Catholic Conference spoke about at all of our Catholics@theCapitol events. State Rep. Damron attended the event in his district.

The 85 – 7 bi-partisan vote sends the bill to the Senate for consideration in the closing days of the session. Click here to see a list of the House members and how they voted. If your State Representative voted yes, then please tell him or her thank you.

Opponents are urging constituents to call senators and oppose this bill, claiming that it is too broadly worded and is not needed. You can see how they argued against the measure in the video below.

It is needed. Congress, in response to a 1993 U. S. Supreme Court case, passed a bill signed by President Bill Clinton titled the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). In a U. S. Supreme Court ruling after that, the Court held the law only applied when the federal government attempted to infringe on the right to practice one’s religion. As a result, 13 states have enacted state RFRAs to protect from state infringement on religious freedom rights.

In a case ruled on last October, Kentucky’s Supreme Court lowered the standard by which the state can infringe on the right to free exercise of religion. This bill is needed to return Kentucky to a higher standard. When passed the state will have to show two things: 1. the need to infringe on this freedom is compelling; and 2. the method used is the least restrictive manner of infringement.

Please take the time early in the week of March 3, 2013 to call 1.800.372.7181 and ask your State Senator to support and vote YES for House Bill 279, the religious liberty bill Kentucky needs.

Below is a video of the floor debate where Representatives Damron, Kerr, Yonts, Wuchner and Lee all argued strongly for its passage and prevailed. Visit the Conference YouTube channel and subscribe so that you are alerted when new videos are posted.

Please call 1.800.372.7181 to urge support before it is too late. This is the last full week lawmakers will be in session.

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