The Nashua Spiritual Counselor Clinic is suing its state lawmakers over a portion of a state law that restricts counselors from sharing political or religious beliefs with their clients.
The state Senate passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act last year after Gov.
Maggie Hassan (D) signed a controversial bill banning the sale of religious books to minors.
The law also requires counselors to identify themselves on the application as a licensed spiritual counselor and to disclose their religious beliefs and values, including their political leanings.
The Nashu Spiritual Counselors Association (NSCCA) filed suit in federal court on Wednesday, claiming the law violates the First Amendment rights of its members.
“The religious practices that counselors are required to conduct and the content of their prayers should not be a matter of political opinion or speech,” the group wrote in its lawsuit.
“Counselors are required by law to conduct their practice in the public interest, and must not be compelled to discuss politics, religion, or religious issues.”
The lawsuit contends that the provision violates the religious liberty of the plaintiffs because it “supports and supports a religion and thus conflicts with the Establishment Clause.”
The NSCCA also said the bill “is a blatant attack on free speech and the First and Fourteenth Amendments.”
The group has said it has over 2,000 registered members across New Hampshire.
It has been the target of a lawsuit filed by other religious groups and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire in June.