Virginia passes bill to allow government employees not to marry gay couples

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Lesbian wedding cake figurine

The state of Virginia has passed a bill that allows tax-payer funded agencies to refuse to marry same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. House Bill 2025, which was being pushed by Delegate Nicholas Freitas, has been passed by the full House of Delegates. People who say ‘no’ to gay couples would not be legally punishable because they acted according to the religious norms. This bill states that “no person shall be required to participate in the solemnisation of any marriage.” This bill states that “no person shall be required to participate in the solemnisation of any marriage.” “The Virginia House of Delegates’ decision to pass this legislation puts the state’s people, reputation, and economy at risk,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow.
“This reckless bill in truth has nothing to do with the right to practice one’s religion, which is already firmly protected by the First Amendment. Rather, it is a thinly veiled attempt to provide a special license to discriminate with taxpayer funds. The discriminatory measure would no doubt result in multiple, expensive legal challenges and fallout similar to the self-inflicted wound in North Carolina from HB2. The Virginia Senate must reject this legislative assault on LGBTQ Virginians and their families. We recognize that religion is a vital part of many Virginians’ daily lives, but HB 2025 does not protect religious liberty. Instead, it provides a license to discriminate against loving LGBTQ families,” said Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish. Furthermore, its broad and vague definition of ‘person’ would set a dangerous precedent for discriminatory individuals and groups to be protected by our religious freedom laws.”

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