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Arkansas bill protecting churches from discrimination during emergencies becomes law

Published On: 2/11/2021


The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Greg Chafuen regarding the Religion Is Essential Act, which became law Wednesday. HB 1211, sponsored by Rep. Mary Bentley, ensures that churches and other religious organizations are allowed to remain open during a state of emergency on the same terms as businesses and other secular services:

“While public officials have the authority and responsibility to protect public health and safety, the First Amendment prohibits the government from treating houses of worship and religious organizations worse than comparable secular activities. Arkansas has taken an important step to defend this right by enabling religious organizations to keep their doors open and protecting them from discrimination based on their religious identity or conduct. We commend Rep. Bentley and the Arkansas Legislature for ensuring that churches and their ministries remain free to serve those who are in need, at risk, or suffering during this pandemic.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.


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