MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Governor Kay Ivey on Friday signed Executive Order 733, “Promoting and Defending Religious Liberty Through Implementation of the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment,” to further strengthen protections for religious liberty in Alabama.
“Religious freedom is the cornerstone of the American way of life, and as governor, I will always protect the rights of Alabamians and ensure they are free to exercise their beliefs as provided in the Constitution,” said Governor Ivey. “As I have promised, under my watch, our state government will always reflect the values of our people.”
Executive Order 733 ensures the enforcement of the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment, which was proposed and ratified in 1998 as a reaction to federal court decisions viewed as hostile to the free exercise of religion.
To that end, the order specifically sets out several well-established legal principles providing religious-liberty protections for professionals and businesses holding a government license, state contractors, grant recipients, recipients of government benefits and state employees. For example, one provision requires state executive-branch agencies to consider potential burdens on religious exercise when they adopt administrative rules. Another provision requires agencies to allow state employees to express their faith to the same extent that they allow employee expression that is not religious in nature.
Governor Ivey has a record of protecting religious freedom in the state of Alabama. Most recently, Governor Ivey met with the Oakwood Academy boys’ basketball team after the Seventh Day Adventist school was forced to forfeit its playoff game due to the team’s observance of Sabbath. The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) policy that forced the team’s forfeiture has since been amended to accommodate faith-based scheduling requests. The governor is committed to ensuring Alabama’s government will always reflect the values of its people.