New Mexico Bill Amending Religious Freedom Restoration Act (HB 55)
This law was last updated on Dec 12, 2016
HB 55 would allow local businesses to refuse service to customers based on the owner’s religious beliefs.
The bill would amend the New Mexico Human Rights Act to prohibit the application of any law that burdens the “free exercise of religion.”
The bill defines “free exercise of religion” to mean an act or a refusal to act that is substantially motivated by religious belief.
Specifically, the bill would prohibit the application of any law that burdens a person’s free exercise of religion by requiring the person to provide a service or to conduct business in a manner inconsistent with adherence to that person’s sincerely held religious belief unless that adherence is based on race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, physical or mental handicap or serious medical condition.
The bill would also amend the New Mexico Religious Freedom Restoration Act to prevent discriminatory action by a person or a government agency in response to a person’s free exercise of religion.
The bill would allow private citizens to file claims against other private citizens if they believe their religious freedom has been violated. With this change, the New Mexico RFRA would no longer track the Federal RFRA.