Nebraska Legislature Passes First Freedom Act, NFA’s Top Priority Bill, in Major Win for Religious Freedom


Thursday, Nebraska State Senators advanced the First Freedom Act, a critical NFA-supported bill to protect religious freedom, through the final round of debate on a 39-0 vote with four “present-not-voting.”

Introduced by Senator Tom Brewer as LB 277, the First Freedom Act was amended into LB 43 earlier this year as part of a Government Committee priority package and is the most significant religious freedom bill to pass through the legislature in decades. 

The bill prohibits government actors from treating churches more restrictively than secular institutions, establishes a standard mirroring the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act to strengthen protections for religious freedom in state statute, and protects the rights of members of indigenous tribes to wear tribal regalia. 

These components strengthen the First Amendment rights of all Nebraskans and protect religious individuals and organizations from government discrimination. 

Nebraska Family Alliance released the following statement celebrating the final advancement of the bill.

“The First Freedom Act protects the constitutional right to be free from unjust government restriction and is the most important bill to protect religious liberty in Nebraska since the legalization of homeschooling in the 1980s,” said Nate Grasz, Policy Director for NFA. 

“This is not just a legislative win, but a milestone victory for one of our most fundamental human rights, the freedom of religion,” said Grasz. 

“We are thankful for Senator Brewer’s steadfast commitment to advancing this critical piece of legislation and look forward to Governor Pillen signing it into law.”