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Published June 04, 2012, 05:38 PM

Backers of ND Religion Amendment Say It's Needed

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Supporters of a proposed North Dakota constitutional amendment on religion say the idea's been endorsed by a number of legal scholars.

By: Associated Press,

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Supporters of a proposed North Dakota constitutional amendment on religion say the idea's been endorsed by a number of legal scholars.

They say it won't lessen the ability of local authorities to protect abused children and battered spouses.

Christopher Dodson is director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference. He says the amendment would require the state to have a "compelling interest" in order to regulate religious practices.

Child welfare advocates say some people who beat their children justify it by quoting the Bible. But Dodson says protecting people from harm is a compelling interest of government.

The letter is signed by law professors from Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and the University of Virginia. It says a majority of states already have the protections that the amendment would provide in North Dakota.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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