Senate Bill 41 passed by a 59-38 margin.
The measure, which state Sen. Charles Carrico (R-Galax) introduced in December, would allow officials to refuse to officiate same-sex marriages because of their religious beliefs. The Virginia Senate narrowly approved SB 41 last month.
Equality Virginia, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, described SB 41 as an “unnecessary bill.” Family Foundation of Virginia President Victoria Cobb applauded Wednesday’s vote.
“This legislation balances the recently discovered right to whatever definition of marriage you want with our nation’s longstanding principle of religious free exercise by ensuring that the heavy hand of government cannot penalize clergy or religious charities simply because of beliefs about marriage,” said Cobb in a statement. “Charitable religious organizations should be treated fairly, not targeted and punished by the government because of their beliefs about marriage. The faith that inspires their charitable service shouldn’t be used by the government to discriminate against them.”
Gov. Terry McAuliffe has said he would veto SB 41 if it were to reach his desk.