Victory in Virginia: Governor Vetoes Bill Allowing Religion to Be Used as an Excuse to Discriminate

By Adam Polaski • March 30, 2016 • 10:50 am

Today, March 30 Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed Senate Bill 41, a dangerous bill similar to the outrageous “First Amendment Defense Act” in Georgia that would have codified discrimination against LGBT people. The blatantly unconstitutional language grants special rights exclusively to some (but not all) people of faith – just those who hold a certain view of the definition of marriage.


He said today:

“This legislation is also bad for business and creates roadblocks as we try to build the new Virginia economy. Businesses and job creators do not want to locate or do business in states that appear more concerned with demonizing people than with creating a strong business climate. Legislation that immunizes the discriminatory actions of certain people and institutions at the expense of same-sex couples would damage Virginia’s reputation for commonsense, pro-business government. We need only look at the damage these types of laws are doing in other states to understand the harm this bill could bring to our Commonwealth and its economy.”

Freedom for All Americans applauds Governor McAuliffe’s actions today, which are in line with the supermajority of Americans nationwide – and in Virginia – who reject anti-LGBT discrimination. Freedom for All Americans Executive Director Matt McTighe said today:

“Governor McAuliffe did the right thing today in opposing legislation that would have codified discrimination against LGBT residents of Virginia. In past weeks, we’ve seen significant opposition for similar laws in other states from businesses, professional sports teams, the entertainment industry, and Democratic and Republican electeds alike. It is becoming increasingly clear that no one in America should fear discrimination because of who they are or who they love, no matter where they live.”

Congratulations to all who fought against this bill – including everyone at Equality Virginia – and thank you for your hard work. Together, we’ll keep moving forward.

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