House Bill 47 significantly expands the existing Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Kentucky, and essentially allows private individuals to sue other private individuals under the statute.

This biil is so broad that, if it passes, it could allow people to challenge virtually ANY law if they believe it impacts their religious beliefs or practice and by forcing the government to meet the strictest legal standard of review when defending those laws.

House Bill 47 would also make it harder for the government to enforce laws that protect people from discrimination.

Here are some examples:

  • A landlord could claim a right to refuse rentals to interracial or unmarried couples because it violates his religious beliefs.
  • A public school guidance counselor could claim a right to refuse to help LGBTQ+ students because it’s prohibited by their religious beliefs.
  • A county clerk could claim a right refuse to issue a marriage license to an interfaith couple because her religion teaches her that interfaith marriages are sinful.
  • A homeless shelter operated by a religious organization & funded by the government could assert a right to refuse to shelter single, never-married mothers on the ground that having sex outside of marriage violates the organization’s religious beliefs.

House Bill 47 could also make it harder for the government to protect people from abuse and violence. For example, a man could claim that domestic violence laws don’t apply to him because his religion teaches a husband has the right to discipline his family, including his wife and children.

Freedom of religion is a fundamental right and is already protected in our state and federal constitutions. But that freedom does not give any of us the right to harm others. Religious freedom should be a positive contribution to society, not license to humiliate & traumatize others.

Bill Movement:

Introduced: 1/2/24

Passed Committee: 2/22/24

Passed House: N/A

Accepted by Senate: N/A

Passed Committee: N/A

Passed Senate: N/A

Sent to Governor: N/A

Action by Governor: N/A


S. Rawlings, S. Baker, J. Calloway, J. Decker, S. Doan, R. Dotson, M. Hart, J. Hodgson, M. Lockett, S. Maddox, C. Massaroni, J. Nemes, M. Proctor, F. Rabourn, N. Tate, J. Tipton


Passed committee


Kentucky General Assembly 2024

Bill number