AHA Endorses Reintroduction of Do No Harm Act

As President Trump has kowtowed to the religious right in order to maintain some level of popular support for his presidency (first by calling for the non-enforcement of the Johnson Amendment and now by supporting a legislative repeal of it), the American Humanist Association has worked to defend the separation of church and state and religious freedom.

Part of that effort has included fighting against policies that allowed for religiously motivated discrimination free from legal or civil consequences, which is why the AHA is proud to announce its endorsement of the recently introduced Do No Harm Act.

The Do No Harm Act, also known as H.R. 3222, is intended to amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993 to protect individuals’ civil rights.

Introduced by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), the Do No Harm Act limits the use of the RFRA to prevent it from being used in cases of discrimination, or in disputes regarding child abuse and labor, salary and collective bargaining, access to healthcare and reproductive care, public accommodation law violations, and government-contracted social services. The bill currently has fifty-seven cosponsors, all of them Democrats. The AHA joined a coalition of advocacy organizations in officially endorsing the legislation and working towards its passage. Some of the other endorsing organizations include the ACLU,  the Anti-Defamation League, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Catholics for Choice, the Hindu American Foundation, the Human Rights Campaign, the Interfaith Alliance, the NAACP, the National Abortion Federation, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

In recent years, RFRA has been weaponized by the religious right in an attempt to deny health coverage for employees, provide an exemption from civil rights and public accommodation laws, and prevent justice in child labor and abuse cases, which is why the Do No Harm Act is so vital and must be passed as soon as possible. Failing to do so will allow for more Americans to face unnecessary religiously-motivated discrimination.

To support the legislation, the American Humanist Association will hold meetings with the coalition of endorsing advocacy organizations and members of Congress to urge lawmakers to either cosponsor or vote for the legislation should it come before their committee or the House floor.