Petition signatures submitted for North Dakota religious freedom measure

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April 22, 2011

BISMARCK, North Dakota: A second initiative has made it's way to the North Dakota Secretary of State's desk. This week, supporters of a proposed Religious Freedom Amendment submitted more than 30,000 signatures.[1]

The proposed measure would add a new section to Article I of the North Dakota Constitution. The proposed section reads as follows:[2]

Government may not burden a person's or religious organization's religious liberty. The right to

act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief may not be burdened unless the government proves it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act and has used the least restrictive means to further that interest. A burden includes indirect burdens such as withholding benefits, assessing penalties, or an exclusion from programs or access to


In order to qualify the proposed measure for the 2012 statewide ballot a minimum of 26,904 valid signatures are required. Secretary of State Al Jaeger has until May 25, 2011 to verify the signatures.[1]

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