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Tennessee Religious Freedom Restoration Act

This law was last updated on Dec 12, 2016




Tenn. Code §4-1-407




Feb 18, 2009


Primary Sponsors: 2
Total Sponsors: 2


LGBTQ, Religious Freedom, RFRA

Full Bill Text

The Tennessee RFRA provides that a government shall not substantially burden a person’s free exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is:

  • Essential to further a compelling governmental interest; and
  • The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

The law defines “substantially burden” to mean to inhibit or curtail religiously motivated practice.

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

The law does not specify that a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding must be against the government, which would potentially allow for private citizens to file suit against other private citizens. Therefore, this RFRA does not track the federal RFRA.



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