Arizona GOP looks to expand religious freedom law - New York News

Arizona GOP looks to expand religious freedom law

Updated:

By CRISTINA SILVA
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - Republican Arizona lawmakers want to pass legislation creating 1 of the nation's strongest religious freedom laws.

A House of Representatives committee advanced the legislation Thursday that would limit government burdens on the exercise of religion.

The proposed law would apply to any state or local government action. It says governments can only limit religious freedom to further an "interest of the highest magnitude" that cannot be achieved otherwise.

It defines a religious burden as any action that directly or indirectly curtails or denies the exercise of religion.

Under current Arizona law, government may limit religious freedom because of a compelling interest.

The proposed law would also allow a person citing a religious burden to seek relief against the government in court.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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