Hawaii Bill Relating to Religious Rights (HB 823)
This law was last updated on May 11, 2017
HB 823 would prohibit the state from burdening any person’s right to exercise religion unless the burden results from a law or rule of general applicability and the burden to the person’s exercise of religion is essential to further a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
The bill states that a person whose exercise of religion has been burdened in violation of the law may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, regardless of whether the State or a county is a party to the proceeding.
The bill allows religious freedom to be raised as a defense in lawsuits between private citizens and therefore does not track the federal RFRA.
Similar to HB 1160, which failed to pass in 2015.