By The North Dakotans Against Measure 3
North Dakotans Against Measure Three, a broad-based, grassroots coalition of religious leaders, medical and legal professionals and concerned citizens, have launched a campaign to defeat Measure 3, which is on the June 12 Primary Election ballot.
“We all believe strongly in religious freedom, but Measure 3 is vague and confusing and just goes too far,” said Tom Fiebiger, a former North Dakota State Senator and an attorney with more than 25 years of experience in helping North Dakotans fight discrimination. “This measure is so poorly written that it will open the door to endless litigation and legal wrangling, clogging our already crowded courts and costing tax payers more of their hard-earned money.”
“We don’t need Measure 3. Religious Freedom is already protected by the very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution and in Article 1, Section 3 of the North Dakota Constitution,” said Rev. Wade Schemmel of Bismarck.
“Unlike existing law, Measure 3 puts an individual’s religious beliefs ahead of the common good of all North Dakotans. That’s not how things work in our state.”
“In America, we are all entitled to our own religious beliefs, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to harm other people,” said Fiebiger. “If Measure 3 passes, it could allow a person to take advantage and use personal religious beliefs to claim the right to break important laws that are meant to protect all of us, like laws against abuse and discrimination.”
“For example,” Fiebiger explained, “a person could take advantage and claim that domestic violence laws don’t apply to him because his religion tells him he can discipline his wife as he sees fit.”
It’s very concerning,” said Schemmel. “This law could be manipulated and harm others, and that’s why we are opposing this Measure 3.”