Group will pursue Religious Freedom in courts, not ballot measure

legal court

Friends of Religious Freedom

Friends of Religious Freedom Will Seek To Enforce Constitutional Rights in Court

PORTLAND, OREGON: Current Oregon law provides protection to religious institutions and clergy for choosing nonparticipation in same sex ceremonies. But the law discriminates against individuals of faith who wish to choose nonparticipation. A Jewish pianist or a Christian violinist who may not want to participate in a same sex ceremony based on deeply held religious beliefs is currently subject to government penalties and civil actions. They face a Hobson’s choice: violate your faith or face prosecution.

The intent of IP52 is to end this religious discrimination in Oregon by providing individuals of faith with protection equal under the law to that of religious clergy. But the certified ballot title does not acceptably state this. Indeed, it states it as intolerant instead of protecting equal rights of conscience. Further, we believe Oregon’s segregation between individuals of faith and religious clergy already violates both the U.S. and Oregon constitutions and we have decided to seek enforcement of existing constitutional rights through the courts rather than to make new law.

Thus, we have resolved to suspend IP52 and, instead, back an enforcement lawsuit that will be filed shortly in Oregon on behalf of individuals of faith in expressive professions who are currently being coerced to violate their faiths. The legal teams are in place and we are confident that Oregon’s religious discrimination laws will be ruled unconstitutional.