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Governor Sam Brownback issues Executive Order protecting the religious freedom of Kansas clergy and religious organizations

by Eileen Hawley | Jul 07, 2015

Governor Sam Brownback today issued Executive Order 15-05, “Preservation and Protection of Religious Freedom,” protecting the religious freedom of Kansas clergy and religious organizations.

The Executive Order recognizes that the protection of religious liberty from government infringement is a fundamental state interest and complements the protections of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Section Seven of the Bill of Rights of the Kansas Constitution. EO 15-05 prohibits state government from taking any discriminatory action against any “individual clergy or religious leader,” or any “religious organization” that chooses not to participate in a marriage that is inconsistent with its sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.

Governor Brownback issued the following statement upon signing the Executive Order:

“We have a duty to govern and to govern in accordance with the Constitution as it has been determined by the Supreme Court decision. We also recognize that religious liberty is at the heart of who we are as Kansans and Americans, and should be protected.

“The Kansas Bill of Rights affirms the right to worship according to ‘dictates of conscience’ and further protects against any infringement of that right. Today’s Executive Order protects Kansas clergy and religious organizations from being forced to participate in activities that violate their sincerely and deeply held beliefs.

“While we disagree with the decision of the Supreme Court, it is important that all Kansans be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

The full text of the Executive Order may be found at https://governor.ks.gov/media-room/executive-orders

Media note: Audio may be found at EO 15-05.
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