Religious Freedom Acts

Religious Freedom Acts

Top of Mind with Julie Rose

Religious Freedom, Millennium Photograph, Civil War

Episode: Religious Freedom, Millennium Photograph, Civil War

  • Apr 6, 2015 9:00 pm
  • 24:22 mins

Guest: Elizabeth Clark, associate director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU Lawmakers in Indiana and Arkansas have come under scrutiny and political pressure in the last few weeks for passing a law commonly referred to as a "RFRA," which stands for Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Critics say the laws empower businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians in the name of religion. Late last week, Indiana's governor signed an amended version of the state's law clarifying that it cannot be used as a defense for discrimination. Arkansas' governor only signed his state's version after a similar provision was added. But Indiana and Arkansas are hardly the first to enact "Religious Freedom Restoration Acts." Nearly half of states have them and the federal government passed one in 1993 - and in the past, these laws had bi-partisan support and were largely noncontroversial. What's changed?