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Published August 05 2010

Religion amendment won’t be on fall ballot in North Dakota

The Religious Liberty Restoration Amendment will not be on North Dakota’s ballot this fall.

Organizers gathered 22,000 petition signatures, said Tom Freier, executive director of the North Dakota Family Alliance. That’s short of the 25,688 needed by Wednesday to put the measure before voters

in November.

The NDFA is spearheading the effort to get the measure on the books. If passed, it would stipulate that the government not “burden” a person’s or organization’s behavior in violation of their religiously held convictions without a “compelling governmental interest.”

Backers of the amendment plan to continue gathering names to get it on a future ballot, Freier said. And they won’t have to start from scratch to get to the required 25,688.

“We’re very, very confident that we’ll be able to gather the remaining signatures,” Freier said.

The North Dakota Catholic Conference, which serves as the public policy arm for the two dioceses in North Dakota, also supported the amendment and released a statement calling the response to the petition efforts “tremendous.”

“It was inspiring especially that people from all walks of life expressed support of the amendment,” conference Executive Director Christopher Dodson said Wednesday.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Shane Mercer at (701) 451-5734