HB322: Some say proposed religious liberty exemptions go too far

By Michael A. Kruse
Capital West News

SALT LAKE CITY — A Draper Republican is looking to extend religious liberty protection with a bill that some say goes too far.

Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, proposed HB322, a bill that states that government Law or regulation can substantially burden a person’s religious liberty. The bill has created concern that bill is too board in its protection. The bill has yet to have a legislative hearing.

“The proposed legislation would unravel all the progress America has made in it’s civil rights progression,” said Troy Williams, director of Equality Utah. Williams said the bill would for anyone to use religious belief as a shield to discriminate against anyone. Williams says its not just about gays. Williams said the bill would give people a free pass to discriminate against anyone they think is a “sinner.”

Williams said SB100, which is sponsored by Sen. Steven Urquhart, R-St.George, is an anti-discrimination bill that provides plenty of religious exceptions. Urquhart’s bill would exempt religious entities and business owned by religious entities.

“LGBT rights and religious liberty rights don’t have to be in conflict,” Williams said.

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