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State Religious Exemption Laws

State religious exemption laws permit people, churches, non-profit organizations, and sometimes corporations to seek exemptions from state laws that burden their religious beliefs.

United States Map
State has constitutional or statutory religious exemption law (RFRA) (21 states)
State permits state-licensed child welfare agencies to refuse to place and provide services to children and families, including LGBT people and same-sex couples, if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs (5 states)
State has targeted religious exemption law that permits state officials to decline to marry couples of whose marriage they disapprove (1 state)
State has targeted religious exemption that that permits faith-based organizations to deny services to married same-sex couples (1 state)
State has no religious exemption law (RFRA) (25 states + D.C.)
NOTE: Mississippi passed a law in 2016 permitting “adoption and foster care services” agencies to discriminate based on religious beliefs, permitting state officials to decline to marry couples of whose marriage they disapprove, and permitting faith-based organizations to deny services to married same-sex couples, among other provisions; H.B. 1523 (2016); this law has been challenged and overturned by a federal court and is currently stayed from enforcement.

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

42% of LGBT population lives in states with constitutional or statutory religious exemption laws 9% of LGBT population lives in states permitting state-licensed child welfare agencies to refuse to place and provide services to children and families, including LGBT people and same-sex couples, if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs 4% of LGBT population lives in states with religious exemption law that permits state officials to decline to marry couples of whose marriage they disapprove 2% of LGBT population lives in states with targeted religious exemption that that permits faith-based organizations to deny services to married same-sex couples 42% of LGBT population lives in states that do not have religious exemption laws

State has religious exemption law
State Constitutional or Statutory Targeted Adoption/Child Services Denial Targeted Marriage License Denial Targeted Marriage Services Denial
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


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Data current as of 05/18/2017