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H.B. 109





Chief Sponsor: LaVar Christensen

Senate Sponsor: ____________

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill reinforces the religious liberty protections afforded by the United States and
             10      Utah constitutions.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    defines terms;
             14          .    prohibits the state and political subdivisions of the state from taking certain actions
             15      that would burden a person's free exercise of religion unless certain conditions exist;
             16      and
             17          .    provides judicial relief and attorney fees.
             18      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             19          None
             20      Other Special Clauses:
             21          None
             22      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             23      ENACTS:
             24          63G-12-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             25          63G-12-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             26          63G-12-103, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             27          63G-12-104, Utah Code Annotated 1953

             28          63G-12-105, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             29          63G-12-106, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             31      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             32          Section 1. Section 63G-12-101 is enacted to read:

             34          63G-12-101. Title.
             35          This chapter is known as the "Religious Liberty Recognition and Protection Act."
             36          Section 2. Section 63G-12-102 is enacted to read:
             37          63G-12-102. Definitions.
             38          As used in this chapter:
             39          (1) "Civil capacities" means the natural, constitutional, and statutory rights and
             40      freedoms of persons and the lawful activities and exercise of those rights and freedoms in
             41      relation to others.
             42          (2) "Goods" means property or economic interests and activities.
             43          (3) "Religious liberty" means the free exercise of religion and freedom of conscience,
             44      including acts or refusals to act that are substantially motivated by sincerely held religious
             45      principles and beliefs.
             46          Section 3. Section 63G-12-103 is enacted to read:
             47          63G-12-103. Prohibitions on state and local governments.
             48          Except in the most limited instances when strictly necessary to avoid the gravest abuse
             49      of a constitutional right and more paramount public interest and subject to the provisions of
             50      Section 63G-12-104 , the state or a political subdivision of the state may not:
             51          (1) infringe or substantially burden a person's religious liberty, including compel,
             52      restrain, or burden a person in their goods and civil capacities; or
             53          (2) restrict or deny freedom of religious speech and the free expression of religious and
             54      moral beliefs in public.
             55          Section 4. Section 63G-12-104 is enacted to read:
             56          63G-12-104. Compelling state interest.
             57          (1) Religious liberty is substantially burdened when a person is coerced or required to
             58      act or significantly modify behavior contrary to sincerely held religious beliefs and principles

             59      and freedom of conscience.
             60          (2) The state or a political subdivision of the state may not substantially burden a
             61      person's religious liberty unless the state or political subdivision can demonstrate by clear and
             62      convincing evidence:
             63          (a) that the application of the burden to the person is:
             64          (i) in furtherance of a compelling state interest required to protect the peace, health,
             65      and safety of the state; and
             66          (ii) strictly necessary to avoid the gravest abuses endangering a constitutionally
             67      recognized and more paramount interest; and
             68          (b) that there are no other means reasonably available to achieve such ends.
             69          Section 5. Section 63G-12-105 is enacted to read:
             70          63G-12-105. Judicial relief.
             71          (1) Subject to the provisions of Section 63G-12-104 , the free exercise of religious
             72      liberty is a recognized exemption to otherwise generally applicable laws and a valid defense to
             73      claims of discrimination by others.
             74          (2) A person whose religious liberty has been substantially burdened in violation of
             75      this section may obtain appropriate relief in a judicial proceeding including recovery of
             76      attorney fees and costs as may be awarded by the courts.
             77          Section 6. Section 63G-12-106 is enacted to read:
             78          63G-12-106. Protections afforded.
             79          The rights and protections of religious liberty afforded by this chapter are in addition to
             80      those provided under the constitutions of this state and the United States.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-2-11 9:49 AM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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