Here we go again.  This is HB 2481 which basically would protect clergy and judges from performing marriages that are against their religious beliefs.




HB 2481 

religious beliefs; solemnization of marriages 

Sponsors: Representatives Montenegro, Allen, Barton, et al. 


X Committee on Government 

 Caucus and COW 

 House Engrossed 


HB 2481 prohibits government from requiring a minister to solemnize a marriage that is 

inconsistent with the minister’s sincerely held religious beliefs. 


Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 41-1442 deems discrimination in places of public 

accommodation against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or 

ancestry unlawful. However, it is not an unlawful practice for a person to fail to provide service 

at a place of public accommodation if by providing the service the person would violate a state 

or federal law or a rule that is adopted by a state or federal board, commission or agency that has 


Arizona’s free exercise of religion statutes were established by Laws 1999, Chapter 332. Free 

exercise of religion is a fundamental right that applies in this state even if laws, rules or other 

government actions are neutral. The government shall not substantially burden a person's 

exercise of religion unless it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is both: a) 

in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; b) the least restrictive means of furthering 

that compelling governmental interest (A.R.S. § 41-1443.01). 


• Prohibits government from requiring a minister to solemnize a marriage that is inconsistent 

with the minister’s sincerely held religious beliefs. 

• Specifies that a church is not required to ecumenically recognize, facilitate or solemnize a 

marriage that is inconsistent with the sincerely held religious belief, doctrine or tenet of the 


• Defines church as a religious assembly or institution but specifies that it does not include a 

hospital, hotel, restaurant, retail or service business or any other traditional place of 


• Defines minister as an individual who is authorized to solemnize a marriage pursuant to 


• Cited as “Arizona’s First Freedom Act”. 

• Contains a severability clause. 

• Makes technical and conforming changes.