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

facilities.

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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