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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yesterday, the Arizona legislature approved S.B. 1062, a bill that strengthens Arizona's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Family Research Council (FRC) has long supported state RFRAs, which have been enacted in 18 states since 1997 based on the federal law introduced by now U.S. Senator (then U.S. Representative) Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and former U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), passed 97-3 in the Senate, unanimously by voice vote in the House of Representatives and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
FRC President Tony Perkins released the following statement:
"Family Research Council applauds the Arizona legislature for approving commonsense legislation that reinforces the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This legislation reaffirms the basic principle that the fundamental rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion do not stop at the exit door of your local church, and instead extend to every area of life.
"In recent years, we have seen courts declare that people's sincerely-held religious beliefs do not permit them to run their privately-owned businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs. For example, just last year the New Mexico Supreme Court ordered a Christian photographer to participate in a same-sex commitment ceremony in violation of her deeply held religious beliefs. The Founders never envisioned a court forcing Americans to choose between the basic teachings of their faith and losing their livelihood. If you're against the Arizona bill, you're against First Amendment rights.
"We commend Arizona's legislature in its work to preserve the long-held American value of respecting the right to live and work according to one's conscience," concluded Perkins.