This new law is facing immediate opposition in the form of lawsuits.
Fourteen states have filed constitutional-based suits, and two religious groups have filed suits based on the 1st Amendment’s Establishment Clause and the 5th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
I will leave it to constitutional scholars and the courts to evaluate the merits of these suits.
Stepping back from the specifics of these suits, many religious leaders believe that there is an ongoing erosion of religious freedom in the United States.
Over the past six months, three religious leaders addressed this subject on the campuses of Brigham Young University. Two leaders were Church of Latter-day Saints general authorities and the other was Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
All three speeches are worth reading and can be found on the Church of Latter-day Saints website under “Religious Freedoms.”
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Church of Latter-day Saints Quorum of Twelve Apostles said: “For three decades people of faith have watched a systematic and very effective effort waged in the courts and the media to drive them from the public square and to delegitimize their participation in politics as somehow threatening.”
He also observed: “The greatest infringements of religious freedom occur when the exercise of religion collides with other powerful forces in society.
Among the most threatening collisions in the United States today are the rising strength of those who seek to silence religious voices in public debates, and perceived conflicts between religious freedom and the popular appeal of newly alleged civil rights.”