Schneiderman Announces Crackdown On Religious Discrimination

Attorney General Eric  Schneiderman this afternoon that his office was  launching what they are calling “The Religious Rights Initiative” to address religious rights issues and enforce anti-discrimination laws.

The new measure, his office says, will target faith-based discrimination and violations of religious rights through public education, outreach and law enforcement, including litigation.

“Our state’s rich history of religious diversity is founded on our nation’s Bill of Rights and enshrined by laws that protect New Yorkers’ right to freely practice their faith,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “The Religious Rights Initiative will focus on violations of this fundamental freedom, ensure that religious rights are protected, and work with communities throughout the state to foster and promote religious tolerance.”

Mr. Schneiderman announced the launch of the Religious Rights Initiative in remarks before the Anti-Defamation League.

The new program will include public education and outreach campaign, crack down on violators and hope to increase the number of religious discrimination complaints.

The AG’s office says that the number of religious discrimination claims filed with the federal government have more than doubled since 1997.