Analysis Religion

A Timeline of the Religious Imposition Laws Sweeping the Nation

Jessica Mason Pieklo & Imani Gandy

Join Rewire for a look back at how religious imposition laws came to be.

It’s no secret that this country has experienced backlash following civil rights advancements. The claim from the religious right: Progress has come at the expense of religious beliefs and practices. Just look at marriage equality and the response from some court clerks, or the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit and Hobby Lobby.

What we at Rewire are calling “religious imposition” bills have been introduced in states across the country. Modeled after the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, these measures are designed to protect businesses and individuals from the legal consequences of complying with civil rights laws, meaning that businesses could deny housing to single parents; civil servants could deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples; and hospitals could turn away patients in the middle of a miscarriage, all with no legal consequences.

Rewire‘s Religious Imposition tracker follows these ongoing legislative battles at the state and federal level, marking where these fights are happening and whom they are targeting.

The timeline below details how we got here.

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