Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act
This law was last updated on Dec 12, 2016
The Virginia RFRA provides that no government entity shall substantially burden a person’s free exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability unless it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is:
- essential to further a compelling governmental interest; and
- the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
A person whose religious exercise has been burdened by government may assert that violation as a claim or defense in any judicial or administrative proceeding and may obtain declaratory and injunctive relief from a circuit court, but shall not obtain monetary damages.
The law does not specify that a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding must be against the government, which would potentially allow for private citizens to file suit against other private citizens. Therefore, this RFRA does not track the federal RFRA.