A small but growing number of people have filed complaints against their local churches, claiming they have been harassed, discriminated against, and denied service because of their religious beliefs.
The incidents have sparked a national conversation about how churches are perceived in the eyes of those who choose to attend services and, increasingly, about whether the state’s faith communities are welcoming to non-religious people.
A new state law, HB 1330, was passed by the Utah Legislature in early January.
The bill was inspired by complaints that some faith leaders were being discriminated against when it came to serving those who do not share their faith.
According to the legislation, businesses that receive state funding from the Utah Department of Revenue must offer a place for nondiscrimination and that businesses that do not offer nondiscriminatory services must provide an opportunity for people to express their faith in their daily lives.
The law also allows religious groups to set up a non-profit 501(c)(3) to operate in Utah without the need to obtain permission from the government.
The state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act prohibits the government from punishing people for their beliefs.
However, critics of the law say it is not enough, and they have started a petition calling for a law to prevent religious discrimination against anyone.
The bill passed the Utah Senate in February, and Gov.
Gary Herbert signed it into law in June.
The new law is the first of its kind in the U.S., and critics say it does not go far enough.
“This law is a start, but the real action is in the courts, and if the courts uphold it, the law will be overturned and the churches will be forced to open up their doors to nonreligious people,” said Michael Purdy, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah.
Purdy is also a member of the Utah Human Rights Coalition, a nonreligious organization.
“I think the most important thing to take away from this is that this bill doesn’t address religious freedom, it addresses the fact that there is a gap between the beliefs of the people who want to participate in the religious freedom and the rights of other Americans,” he said.
The ACLU and the Human Rights Campaign have launched a national coalition to fight religious discrimination, calling on religious groups and the state to enact laws that protect religious liberty.
The Human Rights Act is a federal law that protects religious freedom from discrimination on the basis of religion.
The law was passed in 1954, and was expanded in 1976.
According the Human Relations Commission, about 4,000 churches and other religious groups in the state currently participate in religious freedom programs, according to the Utah Religious Freedom Commission.
Utah is one of several states with religious freedom laws, but those laws have been blocked by courts in recent years.
The Religious Freedom and Restoration Act was passed after two other laws were blocked by the courts.
The first law, SB 1361, was struck down by a federal court in 2012.
In 2014, a federal judge ruled that SB 1360 was unconstitutional because it applied only to churches.
The second law, AB 1331, was upheld by the 9th U.N. General Assembly in 2015.
The federal courts in Utah have struck down numerous religious freedom ordinances in recent decades.
In 2015, a judge in Washington, D.C., ruled that a Utah law that allowed businesses to deny service to gay people based on sexual orientation violated the U,S.