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Religious freedom legislation signed into law

OKLAHOMA CITY – Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed Senate Bill 404, clarifying Oklahoma law to prevent discrimination against religious entities. Sen. Julie Daniels is the Senate principal author of the measure, and House Floor Leader Jon Echols is the House principal author.

Daniels said Oklahoma is one of 23 states that has enacted a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act, providing protections for religious freedom. SB 404 updates that law.

“This legislation was designed to reflect recent landmark rulings from the United State Supreme Court protecting the free exercise clause of the First Amendment,” said Daniels, R-Bartlesville. “SB 404 clarifies that when the government makes a benefit available to private entities, it cannot exclude religious entities from accessing the benefit primarily based only or primarily on their character as a religious entity.”

SB 404 amends Oklahoma’s Religious Freedom Act to state that it shall be deemed a substantial burden to exclude any person or entity from participation in or receipt of governmental funds, benefits, programs, or exemptions based solely on the religious character or affiliation of the person or entity.

"I'm glad to see the governor sign into law this no-nonsense piece of legislation that simply states that people or entities cannot be discriminated against solely on their religious character or affiliation," said Echols R-Oklahoma City. "Put gender, race or any other factor in place of the word religion and this would not even be an issue. This simply adds religion to this protection under the law."

SB 404 takes effect Nov. 1, 2023.


For more information, contact:  Sen. Julie Daniels at 405-521-5634 or email