By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
PHOENIX – Lawmakers in Arizona passed a bill this week that seeks to protect the religious rights of business owners and shield them from unlawful discrimination lawsuits.
HB 2153 cleared the Arizona House of Representatives on Thursday 33-27, amending sections 41‑1493 and 41‑1493.01 of the state code pertaining to the free exercise of religion. The bill broadens the definition of a religious entity to include businesses and associations, and prohibits state officials from burdening the entity’s free exercise of religion without the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling government interest.
The bill is modeled after the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), passed in the 1990′s, but serves to ensure that Arizona protects the right to religious conviction without punishment. The RFRA only applies on a federal level and does not pertain to state action. Click here to continue reading.