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Minnesota Freedom of Conscience Bill (SF 2158)

This law was last updated on Oct 12, 2016


State

Minnesota

Number

SF 2158

Status

Failed to Pass

Proposed

May 8, 2015

Topics

Conscience and Refusal Clauses, LGBTQ, Religious Freedom

Full Bill Text

www.revisor.mn.gov

SF 2158 would allow religious entities, small business owners, and government officials to refuse service to same-sex couples planning a wedding.

Religious Entities

The bill would prohibit religious organizations and personnel from being required to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage if that action would cause the entity or individual to violated a sincerely held religious belief that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman.

The First Amendment already covers the right of religious organizations to refuse to perform marriages that conflict with their religious beliefs.

Private Protections

The bill would prohibit an individual, sole proprietorship, or small business from being required to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges that assist or promote the solemnization, formation, celebration of facilitation of marriage, if that action would cause the individual or entity to violate a sincerely held religious belief that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman.

This would not apply if a party to the marriage is unable to obtain similar goods or services, or rental housing elsewhere, without substantial hardship.

The bill defines “substantial hardship” to mean:

  • there is no individual or business within 30 miles of the location of the solemnization or celebration of the marriage able to provide the desired goods or services and both parties would incur a substantial increase in the cost by procuring similar goods or services from an individual or business located more than 30 miles from that location; or
  • there is no other individual or business able to provide the desired goods or services within the time frame needed for the solemnization or celebration of the marriage.

Government Entities

The bill would prohibit any government employee or official from being required to provide services that assist or promote the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage if that action would cause the employee or official to violate a sincerely held religious belief that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman.

This would not apply if no other employee or official was promptly available and willing to provide the requested governmental service.

The bill protects any individual or entity from civil or criminal cause of action if they refuse to provide goods or services that violate their religious beliefs.

 


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