Three New Mexico lawmakers in December 2015 introduced a measure “to prevent discriminatory action by a person or a government agency in response to a person’s free exercise of religion.” The proposal died during the 2016 regular session.
A new law prevents local and state government from mandating protections for LGBT people in the private sector or at stores and restaurants. The Legislature held a special session in March to overturn an ordinance in Charlotte that would have allowed transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity. Lawmakers then blocked all cities and counties from passing rules that targeted LGBT discrimination.
North Dakota lawmakers have defeated measures in each of the past three sessions to prohibit discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation.
A new law states clergy and other religious officials cannot be required to perform marriages or provide marriage counseling, courses or workshops that violate their conscience or religious beliefs. On March 14, gay rights advocates in the state celebrated the failure of 27 bills in the Legislature that they said unfairly discriminated against LGBT people.
Pennsylvania’s Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this month signed an executive order barring state contractors and grant recipients from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity. State Sen. Mike Folmer says he wants to vet the bill in committee to make sure it does not violate anybody’s religious liberties or freedom of conscience.
The Legislature passed a bill to require students to use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender at birth, but GOP Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed it. The House also passed legislation barring government from taking “discriminatory action” against people, organizations or businesses based on religious beliefs that marriage should be between one man and one woman, sex outside marriage is wrong or that sexual identity is determined by a person’s biological sex at birth. The bill did not pass before the legislative session ended.