Beshear Vetoes Religious Freedom Bill

Mar 22, 2013

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has vetoed the controversial ‘religious freedom’ bill.


The legislation would allow residents to ignore any laws or regulations that violate tenets of their faith. But opponents argued it could threaten civil rights protections for racial minorities, women and LGBT residents.

Beshear says religious freedom is a cornerstone of American democracy and important to Kentuckians, but the bill’s vague language would be problematic and expensive.


“I have serious concerns that this bill will cause unintentional consequences that could threaten public safety, health care and individual civil rights. As written, the bill will undoubtedly lead to costly litigation,” he says.

A wide range of gay rights groups, state organizations and public officials such as Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer opposed the bill. The bill now heads back to the state House, where lawmakers could override the gubernatorial veto.