April 6, 2017 at 2:50 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Va. Senate fails to override religious freedom bill veto

Virginia, gay news, Washington Blade

The Virginia Senate on April 5, 2017, failed to override Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s veto of a controversial religious freedom bill.

The Virginia Senate on Wednesday failed to override Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s veto of a religious freedom bill that critics contend would have allowed discrimination against same-sex couples.

Senate Bill 1324, which state Sen. Charles Carrico (R-Galax) introduced, would not have required any person or religious institution to “participate in the solemnization of any marriage” that conflicts “with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.” The measure would have also prohibited state officials from punishing people and organizations that refuse to take part in a gay or lesbian wedding because of their religious beliefs.

State Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) introduced an identical bill in the Virginia House of Delegates.

“This is another piece of legislation that is discriminatory,” said McAuliffe after he vetoed SB 1324 on March 23.

Twenty-seven votes were needed to override McAuliffe’s veto.

Senators by a 20-20 vote margin sustained McAuliffe’s veto. They sustained it for a second time by a 21-19 vote margin.

The state Senate in 2016 failed to override McAuliffe’s veto of a similar bill.

Wednesday’s vote took five days after McAuliffe spoke at Equality Virginia’s annual Commonwealth Dinner that took place in Richmond.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on March 31 signed a House Bill 2 repeal bill that LGBT rights advocates have sharply criticized. McAuliffe and Lieutenant Gov. Ralph Northam have sharply criticized HB 2, which has had a significant impact on North Carolina’s economy.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

1 Comment
© Copyright Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved.