June 8, 2012 — "North Dakota Measure 3 on Tuesday's ballot is, at its core, an attempted ecclesiastical mugging of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment" and the "religious freedom guarantee" in the state's constitution, a Forum of Fargo-Moorhead editorial states.
The editorial notes that the measure says "government may not 'burden' religious liberty," but it "does not define burden or call for reasonable exceptions, as do religious liberty amendments in other states." Further, the measure "directs government to use 'least restrictive means' to further a government interest that might be in conflict with religious practice" -- a phrase that also is not defined and "certainly would have an effect on the application of secular laws," including child abuse and domestic violence statutes, according to the editorial.
In North Dakota, "religious liberty is practiced ... openly and frequently," the editorial continues, adding that the measure's supporters are unable to cite a single "example of denied or even attenuated religious liberty" in the state.
Measure 3 is "a self-serving scheme that has the potential to deeply divide people of faith, and thus undermine religious liberty, not protect it," the editorial concludes (Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, 6/6).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership