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Iowa Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SF 240)

This law was last updated on Sep 12, 2019

This law is Anti–LGBTQ




SF 240




Feb 12, 2019


Primary Sponsors: 16
Total Sponsors: 16


LGBTQ, Religious Freedom, RFRA

Full Bill Text

SF 240 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

Companion bill to HF 258.

Nearly identical to SF 508.

Identical to HF 2209SF 2154 and HF 2209; all of which failed to pass in 2018.

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

Latest Action

2/12/19 – Introduced; referred to Senate Local Government Committee.