Religious Freedom Center Experts Featured in Times, Post

This week Religious Freedom Center experts Charles Haynes and Asma Uddin were featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post, providing commentary on two of the most pressing religious freedom issues of our time. Haynes, the founding director of the Center and a sought-after expert on First Amendment issues in public schools, was quoted in a Post article on the proposed amendment to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would seek to prevent discrimination against LGBT people. Uddin, a senior scholar at the Center and an advisor on religious freedom as it intersects with Islam, wrote an op-ed in the Times praising the religious tolerance displayed by Utah’s Mormon community and upheld in its policies and political rhetoric. Links to the original articles are below.

Top Senate Democrats introduce bill to amend Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Prominent Senate Democrats introduced a bill Tuesday that would amend the 25-year-old Religious Freedom Restoration Act to prevent the law from being used to justify discrimination against people, including gay, lesbian and transgender citizens.

Though it is unlikely to pass in the Republican-controlled Congress, the Democrats’ bill, called the Do No Harm Act, shows the party’s stance toward a thorny question in the hands of the Supreme Court — how to choose when both LGBT people and conservative Christians feel their civil rights are at risk.

What Islamophobic Politicians Can Learn From Mormons

Last month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on President Trump’s travel ban, popularly known as the “Muslim ban” because of his statements, like one in 2015 calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

But Mr. Trump is far from the only Republican willing to discriminate against Muslims. BuzzFeed News reported in April that since 2015, Republican officials in 49 states have publicly attacked Islam, some even questioning its legitimacy as a religion.

The only exception? Utah.


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