Gov. Beshear vetoes HB279 citing 'significant concerns'


by Nicole Harrell

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 22 at 7:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Governor Steve Beshear has vetoed HB279, also known as the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act." According to the Governor's Office, HB279 would allow an individual to disregard any state or local law that places a substantial burden on his or her sincerely held religious belief. 

The Office of the Governor released the following statement Friday:
“Religious freedom is a cornerstone of this great nation, and a right enshrined in both the United States Constitution and the Kentucky Constitution,” said Gov. Beshear.  “I value and cherish our rights to religious freedom and I appreciate the good intentions of House Bill 279 and the members of the General Assembly who supported this bill to protect our constitutional rights to practice our religion.  However, I have significant concerns that this bill will cause serious unintentional consequences that could threaten public safety, health care, and individuals’ civil rights. As written, the bill will undoubtedly lead to costly litigation.  I have heard from many organizations and government entities that share those same concerns. Therefore, after giving this measure

thoughtful analysis and consideration, today I vetoed the bill. Click here to read the full statement.


The Governor (@GovSteveBeshear) tweeted the news Friday saying:

"I've vetoed HB279 because while it has well-placed intentions, there are possible significant unintended consequences"

I value and cherish our rights to #religious freedom. I appreciate good intentions of #HB279 and legislators who supported this bill."

He also tweeted: "I have significant concerns that HB279 will cause serious unintentional consequences; impact on public safety, health care, civil rts; #veto"

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) tweeted the following response Friday:

"Regarding today's veto: I applaud the governor for making this bold leadership move. His action demonstrates true leadership." "He listened to all sides and made the right decision in the best interest of the entire Commonwealth."