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Iowa Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SF 2154)

This law was last updated on Sep 6, 2018

This law is Anti–LGBTQ Model Bill




SF 2154


Failed to Pass


Feb 1, 2018


Primary Sponsors: 19
Total Sponsors: 19


Religious Freedom, RFRA

Full Bill Text

SF 2154 would prohibit a government entity from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a law of general applicability.

The bill states that a government entity shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion unless the government entity demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is essential to further a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

A person whose exercise of religion has been burdened by a government entity in violation of this provision may assert that violation as a claim or defense in any judicial or administrative proceeding and may obtain such declaratory relief or monetary damages as may properly be awarded by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The bill does not apply to the department of corrections, a district department of correctional services, a county jail, or other detention facility.

The law allows religious freedom to be raised as a defense in lawsuits between private citizens and therefore does not track the federal RFRA.

Related Legislation

Identical to HF 2209 and SF 2338.

The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Dennis Guth (R), reportedly worked in conjunction with Alliance Defending Freedom to model the bill after Indiana’s 2015 RFRA.

Similar to HF 2032, HF 2200, and SF 2171, all of which failed to pass in 2016.