ADF: Proposed Serbian “non-discrimination” law endangers religious freedom


Serbian Parliament to vote on ‘non-discrimination’ law

ADF attorneys working to keep bad foreign policy at bay from U.S. say law sets up dangerous clash with religious rights

BELGRADE, Serbia — The Serbian Parliament will debate and vote on a so-called “non-discrimination” law Wednesday, but religious organizations and churches represented in part by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund point out that the proposed law will actually clash with existing fundamental rights of religious freedom and religious expression.

“Christians should not be discriminated against for their beliefs. The Serbian Parliament should not be fooled. That’s what this law does, despite its title,” said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska, who is based in Europe. “Bad laws like this, if left unopposed in Europe, end up haunting the U.S. eventually. If this law passes, Serbia will diminish the rights of Christians to express their moral beliefs in the name of defending special ‘rights’ for people engaged in homosexual behavior. That’s not a precedent we want U.S. courts to start citing when they wrongfully look outside of the U.S. Constitution to see what the rest of the world is doing.”

Kiska pointed to the Obama Administration’s official endorsement Wednesday of a non-binding United Nations statement on “human rights, sexual orientation, and gender identity” as yet more evidence that what happens internationally on such issues affects America. The Bush Administration had declined to sign the statement, reportedly citing concerns over possible conflict with federal and state laws in the U.S.

Serbia is enacting its “non-discrimination” law as part of a package of laws it must pass in order to obtain visa-free travel status within the European Union and ultimately to create closer ties with the EU in the hopes of eventually becoming an EU member. But the law itself is a product of leftist groups that pushed for more than was necessary, implementing a far more socially leftist policy than that of the vast majority of European nations.

The Serbian Parliament is debating and voting on a second version of the proposed measure. ADF attorneys provided legal information and analysis to the parliament on behalf of Serbian religious organizations and churches.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.