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Religious freedom is one of our nation’s foundational tenants, enshrined in the First Amendment to the US Constitution. The right to religious belief and expression and a guarantee that the government neither prefers religion over non-religion nor favors particular faiths over others has allowed religion to thrive. Yet conservatives and the religious right increasingly use their religion as an excuse to justify discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, women, and religious minorities in the name of “protecting” religious liberty. Denying women contraception, refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, or barring Jewish students from a school that accepts federally-funded vouchers are all ways in which religious freedom is being misapplied.
NCJW advocates against measures that weaken the separation between religion and state and works to ensure that taxpayer dollars never fund discrimination. And, we believe ensuring women and young people have access to reproductive health care, information, and options is both a moral imperative and essential to preserving religious liberty. No one religious belief should be imposed on us all; to do so threatens the nation’s commitment to religious liberty.
61% of Americans oppose allowing a small business owner in their state to refuse to provide products or services to gay or lesbian people, if doing so violates their religious belief.