RELIGIOUS REFUSAL BILL CLEARS SENATE GENERAL LAWS

Committee affirms acceptability of discrimination in party-line vote


RICHMOND — This afternoon, the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology voted along party lines to advance Sen. Bill Carrico’s (R - Grayson) SB 41, which would entitle religious organizations and affiliated businesses to refuse to provide services or goods in connection with a marriage solemnization “if the action would cause the [actor] to violate a sincerely held religious belief.”

Said Sen. Mamie Locke (D - Hampton), “All Virginians deserve to be treated equally. This bill sanctions prejudice and discrimination. Enacting it would be a grave mistake.”

Said Sen. Adam Ebbin (D - Alexandria), “Marriage equality is the law of the land, but SB 41 seeks to foster unfair discrimination. We should be fighting to end that discrimination — not working to protect it under the false guise of religious freedom.”

BACKGROUND

SB 41 was opposed in committee by — among others — the ACLU of Virginia, Equality Virginia, and the Virginia state conference of the NAACP.

Common arguments against the substance of the bill are outlined here.

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