Amish supporters present petition to Eau Claire County Board

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- Supporters of the Amish are petitioning Eau Claire County for change.

Tuesday night supporters of the Amish presented a petition with 1,300 signatures to the county board.

The move comes after two county departments recommended the denial of what may be Wisconsin's first application for a religious waiver to certain building codes.

The waiver application is coming from John Yoder, who wants to build a new home.

In July Governor Walker approved the waivers to allow the Amish to comply with the state's building code without violating their beliefs.

Signers of the petition say they handed it over to the county board to urge the county to respect Amish religious liberty.

"It's not about how we live. It's about how these people have such a strong conviction to carry on their life style that they want to live. It's not about, 'they should be like us'. That's not what our country is about or what our country was founded on," Rachel Lane said before she handed the petition over to the county board members.

Eau Claire County's Corporation Counsel says under the new law, it has the right to recommend denial of a religious waiver for building codes.

They say if that happens, the request is then forwarded on to the Department of Safety and Professional Services. That's the case with John Yoder's petition.

In a statement regarding John Yoder's waiver, the county says, "the health and safety of the public will continue to be the county's focus moving forward. We will continue to follow the law."