BISMARCK (AP) — Supports of a proposed North Dakota constitutional amendment say it would strengthen religious freedoms in the state.
Secretary of State Al Jaeger is reviewing the measure. It will need almost 26,000 petition signatures to get on the November general election ballot.
The proposed amendment says the government may not penalize anyone for refusing to do something because of their religious beliefs — unless the government has a “compelling interest” in the matter.
For example, the amendment could protect a medical provider who didn’t want to distribute birth control devices.
Several state legislators and the bishops of the Fargo and Bismarck Roman Catholic dioceses are members of the initiative’s sponsoring committee.