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Committee Passes Controversial Religious Freedom Bill

Bob Beck

A controversial piece of legislation intended to let people practice their religious beliefs in daily life received approval from the House Judiciary committee. House Bill 83 is called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

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.”

Wyoming Corrections Director Bob Lampert also worried that there could be unintended consequences in prisons where inmates might be able to discriminate against other inmates in the name of religion. 

The bill heads to the full House of Representatives for further consideration.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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