On Tuesday, May 7, after weeks of negotiations, Senate Republicans amended the 2024 Minnesota Human Rights bill with language that reinstates religious liberty protections that were removed by a Minnesota law passed last session.

“This clarification restores religious liberties in Minnesota and provides important protections to our religious organizations,” Senator Jordan Rasmusson (R-Fergus Falls) said. “With the passage of this legislation, we are upholding the right of our religious institutions to make decisions consistent with their faith.”

At least 15 religious communities and organizations—Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Evangelical Christians, and others—have expressed their support for the restoration of religious exemptions. 

“This clarification reinstates the protections for religious organizations that all Minnesotans expect to have. It secures into Minnesota law fundamental rights that every American is afforded under the Constitution,” Sen. Rasmusson added.

The statutory exemption, contained in the amendment, puts the statutory framework with religious exemptions in the Human Rights Act back in line with the U.S. and Minnesota Constitutions. It outlines a broad array of activities by faith organizations that are exempt from claims of discrimination.

Both the amendment and the final bill passed the Senate with unanimous support.