Montana Gov. Signs Bill That Guarantees Religious Liberty Among Citizens


On Thursday, the governor of Montana, Greg Gianforte signed a bill into law that gives citizens the right to freely express their religion. Hence, it prevents the government from disturbing the religious liberty of the people. Likewise, it gives citizens right to take the government to court if they notice a breach on their rights.

The new law has been called the “Montana Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” According to Christian Headlines, the law says that the state “may not substantial burden a person's right to the exercise of religion” unless two things can be demonstrated: 1) the state’s action is essential to “further a compelling governmental interest,” and, 2) the action is the “least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

The law also says that if the state or any of its political subdivisions are the guilty parties, an individual can still file a lawsuit. Legal relief will be paid which can be in form of attorney fees and damages.

According to the bill’s legislative findings, religious liberty is a “fundamental right.” Governor Gianforte, a Republican, also made a tweet in respect to the law. He said, 

“To protect Montanans’ right to freely exercise their religion, I was proud to sign the Religious Freedom Restoration Act today.’’

Meanwhile, for signing the bill into law, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has praised Gianforte. The senior counsel of ADF, Matt Sharp, said,

“Citizens should not be left defenseless when their government attempts to burden their ability to live and worship according to their faith. This law provides a sensible balancing test for courts to use when reviewing government policies that infringe upon the religious freedom rights of Montanans. 

"The law doesn’t automatically decide who will win every disagreement, but it does ensure that every Montanan – regardless of belief system or political power – receives a fair hearing when government action forces a person to violate his or her religious beliefs.”

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