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Modifications to the Kentucky Religious Freedom Act move forward

Stu Johnson
At the table-Representative Steve Rawlings-Remotely-Greg Chaflin with Alliance Defending Freedom

With just days remaining in the current legislative session, a bill to update Kentucky’s Religious Freedom Act emerged from committee. The measure is sponsored by Representative Steve Rawlings of Burlington. He said the definitions included in the bill ensure that religious Kentuckians have a fair day in court.

“Codifying these definitions will ensure that Kentuckians can be heard if any part of the government burdens their religious practices,” said Rawlings.

Taylor Mill Representative Kim Moser asked if a conscientious objection could be used for the denial of medical care. Rawlings said emergency care must be provided.

Rawlings noted clear definitions help to ensure that religious rights are adequately protected. The northern Kentucky lawmaker added it’s been ten years since Kentucky’s Religious Freedom Act has been updated.

During the discussion in the Judiciary Committee, Louisville Representative Pamela Stevenson asked Greg Chaflin of Alliance Defending Freedom about a natural disaster scenario.

“If a church is in the pathway of a tornado and the government says you guys need to move out, does that stop them from protecting the community? asked Stevenson.

“Public health and safety is a common compelling interest that courts recognize,” said Chaflin.

The bill heads to the full House.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 30 years.
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