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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 2158

as introduced - 89th Legislature (2015 - 2016) Posted on 05/11/2015 08:52am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

Line numbers 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5
1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34

A bill for an act
relating to human rights; providing an exemption from human rights provisions
to certain persons if the provision would violate sincerely held religious beliefs;
proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 363A.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

new text begin [363A.261] FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Religious entities. new text end

new text begin (a) No religious association, religious corporation,
religious society, religious or denominational educational institution, or other entity
supervised or controlled by or in connection with those entities, or individual acting in the
scope of employment for the religious entity, or clergy or minister, shall be required to
provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to
the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage, or treat any marriage as valid
for any purpose, if that action would cause the entity or individual to violate a sincerely
held religious belief that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman.
new text end

new text begin (b) Paragraph (a) applies to employees, agents, and volunteers acting within the
capacity of their employment or responsibilities with a religious association, religious
corporation, religious society, religious or denominational educational institution, or other
entity supervised or controlled by or in connection with those entities.
new text end

new text begin (c) Paragraph (a) does not permit a religiously affiliated organization engaged in
the provision of health care, or its employees, to refuse to treat a marriage recognized as
valid in this state for the purpose of a spouse's right to visitation or to make a health care
decision on behalf of a spouse.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Private protections. new text end

new text begin (a) No individual, sole proprietorship, or small
business shall be required to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or
privileges that assist or promote the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any
marriage, or that directly facilitate the development or perpetuation of any marriage, such
as counseling or similar services, if that action would cause the individual or business to
violate a sincerely held belief regarding whether marriage is only the union of one man
and one woman.
new text end

new text begin (b) For purposes of this subdivision, "small business" means a legal entity other
than a natural person:
new text end

new text begin (1) that provides services that are primarily performed by an owner of the business; or
new text end

new text begin (2) that has 20 or fewer employees.
new text end

new text begin (c) Paragraph (a) does not apply if a party to the marriage is unable to obtain similar
goods or services, or rental housing elsewhere, without substantial hardship. "Substantial
hardship" means that:
new text end

new text begin (1) 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
new text end

new text begin (2) 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.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Government entities. new text end

new text begin No governmental employee or official shall be
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 belief that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman, unless
another employee or official is not promptly available and willing to provide the requested
governmental service without inconvenience or delay.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Immunity. new text end

new text begin No refusal to provide services, accommodations, facilities,
goods, or privileges protected by this section shall result in a civil or criminal cause of
action or complaint, including an action or proceeding under this chapter, or any action by
the state or a political subdivision to penalize or withhold benefits or privileges, including
tax exemptions or governmental contracts, grants, or licenses, from any protected person
or organization.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Liberal construction. new text end

new text begin The accommodations in this section further the
compelling governmental interest of protecting the rights of conscience and the free
exercise of religion and must be liberally construed to provide the utmost protection
for those liberties.
new text end