Connecticut is making headlines today for becoming the first state to officially boycott the State of Indiana over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The only problem is Connecticut has a Religious Freedom Restoration Act on the books almost identical to Indiana’s.
The Connecticut law says,
“The state or any political subdivision of the state shall not burden a person’s exercise of religion under section 3 of article first of the Constitution of the state even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.
“(b) The state or any political subdivision of the state may burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest, and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”
Indiana’s law says, “A state action, or an action taken by an individual based on state action, may not substantially burden a person’s right to the exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a law or policy of general applicability, unless the state or political subdivision of the state demonstrates that applying the burden to the person’s exercise of religion is: (1) essential to further a compelling governmental interest; and (2) the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest.”
Connecticut was among the first states to adopt a Religious Freedom Restoration Act–some 22 years ago, in 1993. The fact that Connecticut’s law has been on the books for so many years without any problems demonstrates protecting religious liberty from government infringement should not be controversial.