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A bill, introduced yesterday by Senator Wayne Wallingford (r):


SENATE BILL NO. 916 [pdf]



Read 1st time February 24, 2014, and ordered printed.

TERRY L. SPIELER, Secretary. 6183S.01I


To repeal sections 1.302 and 1.307, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof one new section relating to the exercise of religion.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri, as follows:

Section A. Sections 1.302 and 1.307, RSMo, are repealed and one new 2 section enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as section 1.302, to read as follows:

1.302. 1. [….] As used in this section, the following shall mean:

(1) “Demonstrates”, meets the burden of going forward with the evidence and of persuasion;

(2) “Exercise of religion”, an act or refusal to act that is substantially motivated by sincere religious belief, whether or not the religious exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief;

(3) “Relevant circumstances”, includes legitimate penological interests needed to protect the safety and security of incarcerated persons and correctional facilities, but shall not include reasonable requests by incarcerated individuals for the opportunity to pray, reasonable access to clergy, use of religious materials that are not violent or profane, and reasonable dietary requests.

2. A governmental authority shall not substantially burden a person’s free exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the governmental authority demonstrates that the burden on the person is essential to further a compelling governmental interest, and the burden is the least restrictive means to further that compelling interest, considering the relevant circumstances.

3. This section provides a claim or defense for state and local laws, resolutions and ordinances, and executive orders, and the implementation of such laws, resolutions, ordinances, and executive orders, whether statutory or otherwise, and whether adopted before or after August 28, 2014, which violate the free exercise of religion established pursuant to this section.

4. This section shall apply without regard to whether a state or local governmental authority is a party to the claim, proceeding, or other legal dispute.

5. Nothing in this section shall be construed:

(1) To authorize any governmental authority to burden any religious belief;

(2) To establish a defense to a civil action or criminal prosecution based on a federal, state, or local civil rights law involving discrimination as defined in section 213.010; or

(3) To allow any person to cause physical injury to another person, to possess a weapon otherwise prohibited by law, to fail to provide monetary support for a child or to fail to provide health care for a child suffering from a life-threatening condition.


[emphasis in original]

It’d be nice if there was an amendment which required businesses to disclose if they subscribed to and applied this if it becomes law. That way I’d know to take my business elsewhere.

In case you were wondering, LGBT individuals, their allies, their friends, and their families do spend money.