Religious-Freedom Measure In North Dakota Could Codify Discrimination

North Dakota is not about to put marriage equality on the ballot, but that doesn’t means gays and lesbians nationwide shouldn’t be paying attention to what happens with Measure 3, a referendum that would mandate that the government must have a “compelling interest” to challenge actions or decisions informed by religious belief.

Called the Religious Liberty Restoration amendment, it’s been embraced by Fundamentalists looking for a way to legally discriminate against LGBT people, non-Christians, unmarried moms and other groups who don’t meet their Scriptures-inspired standards.

“It’s very easy to get something on the ballot in North Dakota,” University of North Dakota political scientist Mark Stephen Jendrysik told the Christian Science Monitor, “so I think a lot of groups say: ‘This is a good place, you get a good bang for your buck here.’ And then you get your national attention.” 

We wouldn’t be surprised if it was a preemptive strike against federal marriage equality or other civil-rights breakthroughs on the horizon for gays and lesbians. Of course President Obama has been supportive of legislation requiring health-care companies and employers cover birth control, so maybe these conservative Christians are freaking out about women’s reproductive rights.

“It’s like flood protection,” opined the North Dakota Family Alliance’s Tom Freier. “Are you going to wait until the flood to get the protection?”

Well, if it’s a deluge of stupidity, that dam broke a long time ago.