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Ceretto hails victory in preserving religious rights

by jmaloni
Fri, Feb 10th 2012 04:20 pm

White House backs down from measure that would have infringed upon the beliefs of many religious institutions

Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, today praised local and national religious institutions and individuals for standing up in opposition to President Obama's plan to force religious institutions to abide by policies that would run in direct opposition to their beliefs. Many religious leaders opposed the president's plan, because it would have forced their organizations to uphold measures they did not support. Sources state that the president has backed off of that stance and will be respectful of religious beliefs.

"Today, we can claim a victory in upholding the First Amendment rights of Western New Yorkers," Ceretto said. "It is imperative that religious exemption clauses are expanded for employers, because we must ensure that religious institutions are not forced to conform to guidelines that run contrary to their beliefs."

Recently, the federal Department of Health and Human Services sought to implement a narrow religious exemption for affiliated religious institutions such as hospitals and universities under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The policy change would require Catholic and other religious institutions to abandon their doctrines on reproductive issues or face catastrophic fines.

"Religious institutions are continually under fire and I am proud of those who spoke out against the government's attempt to infringe upon the beliefs of so many, and forced the White House to rethink their position," Ceretto said.

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