Friday, April 30, 2010

Religious Liberty Restoration Amendment Moves Forward


April 30, 2010

Religious Liberty Restoration Amendment Moves Forward

Secretary of State approves petition for circulation

Fargo, ND

A coalition including civic leaders and representatives of different religious traditions have launched an effort to pass an amendment to the state constitution that will restore religious liberties in North Dakota. On Friday Secretary of State Al Jaeger approved the ‘Religious Liberty Restoration Amendment’ initiated constitutional measure, enabling the petition process to proceed.

“We are excited to begin gathering signatures, and the overall educational process. We believe the people in North Dakota will be very receptive to the measure”, states Tom Freier, executive director of North Dakota Family Alliance. Supporters must turn in total of 25,688 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office by August 4th for the initiative to qualify for the November ballot.

The proposed measure states “government may not burden a person’s or religious organization’s religious liberty”. A 1990 U.S. Supreme Court decision greatly diminished this protection. “This amendment restores the level of religious protection everyone had prior to Supreme Court decision. The federal government and many others states have acted to restore that protection,” states Christopher Dodson, executive director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference, a coalition partner. “This amendment would extend the same protection to North Dakotans”.

The sponsoring committee of the initiative indicates broad support for the amendment. The committee includes Protestant and Catholic clergy, legislators from both parties, mayors, and citizens from one end of the state to the other. “We are so appreciative of this support, and believe it be reflective of the state” offers Freier. “We believe the people support the freedoms put in place by the framers of the constitution, and want them restored and preserved.”

Freier says the signature gathering will begin in early May, with much of the effort being initiated in the churches working with clergy and church members. He believes the internet and technology will greatly aid in the process. Freier is hopeful the bulk of the signatures will be gathered by July 1st.

To log on directly to download a petition or view related information and To learn more about the initiative, including the official amendment language, log on to, or you may call the North Dakota Family Alliance at 701-364-0676, or email You may also contact the North Dakota Catholic Conference at 701-223-2519, 1-888-419-1237, or by emailing

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