Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Bill G. Schuette Enrolls Legislation Fortifying Religious Freedoms
RELEASE|March 23, 2023

State Rep. Bill G. Schuette (R-Midland) today enrolled new legislation that would fortify religious freedom protections and clarify language in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

House Bill 4345 has more than 30 co-sponsors in the House and has companion legislation in the Senate to be introduced by Sen. Joe Bellino (R-Monroe).

“I want to be very clear about what my proposed legislation does. It protects religious-based organizations acting on their sincerely held religious beliefs from being drawn into litigation. It acknowledges religious liberties and religious expression as guaranteed in the Michigan and United States Constitutions,” Schuette said.

The bill would reinforce existing First Amendment constitutional religious liberty protections and provide additional legal clarity for religious organizations after recent revisions to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. It is a standalone, independent version of the amendment that Rep. Schuette offered on the floor during debate on the revision.

“There is no room for discrimination in Michigan or in the United States of America,” Schuette said. “But we should provide clarity to the churches, mosques, synagogues and religious organizations across our state exercising their sincere spiritual convictions.”

The legislation Schuette is spearheading in Michigan would be consistent with numerous other states, including California, New York, Massachusetts and Oregon, which include religious liberty protections in their states’ civil rights laws.

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