BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- A constitutional amendment to make it tougher for North Dakota government to regulate religious practices has failed.
Critics of the idea say it wasn't necessary, and that the U.S. and North Dakota constitutions already protect religious freedom.
North Dakota's Roman Catholic churches and the North Dakota Family Alliance worked to put the measure on Tuesday's primary ballot.
They said the amendment would restore protections of religious rights that were eroded by a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1990 and require government to have a compelling reason to regulate religious practices.
The measure's opponents had argued it would spawn lawsuits over how the measure should be interpreted.
They said someone who had "a sincerely held religious belief" could use the amendment to discriminate against gays, pregnant women and others.