West Virginia Freedom of Conscience Protection Act (SB 487)
This law was last updated on Dec 12, 2016
SB 487 would prohibit state action from burdening a person’s right to exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless it is demonstrated that applying the burden to that person’s exercise of religion is essential to further a compelling governmental interest, and is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest.
A person whose exercise of religion has been burdened or is likely to be burdened in violation of this provision may assert such violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding. The right to religious exercise secured under this provision may be asserted between private parties whether or not a state or local governmental actor is a party to the proceeding.
The law allows religious freedom to be raised as a defense in lawsuits between private citizens and therefore does not track the federal RFRA.
Companion bill to HB 2830.