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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Greg Davids (R)

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Thursday, May 9, 2024

ST. PAUL – State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston) said Republicans have taken a major step toward restoring a religious freedom which Minnesota Democrats stripped from faith-based organizations last year.


On May 7, the legislature approved legislation pertaining to the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) to re-establish protections for religious entities against discrimination claims. 


“The First Amendment is a Constitutional right, and yet the Democrats attempted to mess with the First Amendment,” Davids said. “We had heard from a number of faith-based organizations who had faced employment complaints due to this action. I’m very pleased we are one step away from reinstituting this religious freedom.”


Davids said this move was necessary due to MHRA legislation that the majority party enacted in 2023, that stripped religious protections that had been in place since 1993. Before last year, when gender identity was included within the MHRA definition of sexual orientation, the still-existing religious exemption for sexual orientation covered gender identity claims as well. When a new, separate definition of gender identity was created last year, there was no corresponding religious exemption added. 


Davids said the approved legislation would return that exemption. The bill is now on Governor Tim Walz’s desk for enactment.