Part of the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Religious freedom includes two complementary protections: the right to religious belief and expression and a guarantee that the government will not show preferential treatment to one religion over another.

 

Religious freedom is a key part of our democracy and not something to be taken lightly. Which is why the ACLU of Indiana has long fought for the protection of religious expression. We have protected the rights of individuals to equally be free of religion and to have the right to exercise their own without interference. The First Amendment is a shield to protect religious freedom and not a sword with which to infringe on the rights of others. When RFRA (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act) was being debated in the legislature, we stood against the unconstitutional use of religion as a means of discrimination, and we worked with legislators to protect LGBTQ Hoosiers.

 

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