Virginia bill which allows government employees to refuse same-sex marriages advanced
The state of Virginia has advanced a bill that allows tax-payer funded agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples if they hold religious or moral convictions.
House Bill 2025, which is being pushed by Delegate Nicholas Freitas, is set to move into the full House of Delegates.
This bill states that “no person shall be required to participate in the solemnisation of any marriage.”
People who do discriminate will not be “subject to any penalty” if they are seen to be acting in “accordance with a sincerely held religious belief.”
The bill will allow discrimination against same-sex couple wanting to marry.
House Bill 2025 comes just after Virginia’s version of controversial bathroom-ban bill HB2 was killed without debate.
Introduced by Bob Marshall, the bill would have banned individuals from using a bathroom corresponding to any gender other than that displayed on their birth certificate.
The bill was quickly condemned by Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe, who vowed to fight against such legislation.
Following the doing away with Marshall’s bill, he accused legislators of breaking campaign promises.
Governor Terry McAuliffe signed executive order 61, which protects the rights of LGBT people in public services.
The Order extends pre-existing protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for state employees to contractors and in the delivery of state services.