HOUSE VERSION OF RELIGIOUS REFUSAL BILL REPORTS FROM SENATE COMMITTEE

Richmond, Va. – This afternoon, Delegate Todd Gilbert’s (R-Shenandoah) bill, HB773, over government nondiscrimination was conformed to Senator Bill Carrico’s (R-Grayson) bill, SB41, and reported on a straight party line vote.

Said Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), "Even in this conformed state, this bill codifies discrimination. Courts at the state and federal level continue to uphold marriage equality, while Senate Republicans are tireless in their attempts to deny equality to LGBT Virginians under the guise of religious freedom. This bill would allow judges and civil marriage officiants to turn away lesbian and gay couples. To say otherwise is a misrepresentation of the legislation."

Said Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax), “This is a step back from where we need to head as a state, and a terrible precedent for us to be setting. These are the same arguments we heard at the time of Loving vs. Virginia, and that is just not acceptable. We need to be moving forward, not back.”

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