A bill which seeks to protect opponents
of marriage equality cleared the Virginia Legislature on Monday.
According to the Washington
Blade, House Bill 2025 cleared the House with a 57-37 vote.
The bill, proposed by Republican
Delegate Nicholas Freitas, protects individuals who refuse to
participate in a marriage ceremony based on their “religious belief
or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the
union of one man and one woman” from criminal or civil liability.
The bill's definition of a “person” includes an “organization
supervised or controlled by or operated in connection with a
The bill narrowly cleared the Senate
last week with one vote to spare (21-19).
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights group, condemned passage, calling the
“Let’s be clear, HB 2025 is nothing
more than a thinly veiled legislative assault on LGBTQ Virginians and
visitors to the state,” said HRC Senior Vice President for Policy
and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “The measure has nothing to
do with the right to practice one’s religion – which is already
firmly protected in the U.S. Constitution – and everything to do
with enshrining taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people
Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe
vetoed a similar bill last year and has promised to veto this year's
bill should it reach his desk.