Tuesday was Crossover Day at the Virginia General Assembly and one of the most important days during the session. That was the day when lawmakers from the House and Senate wanted their bills to pass and move on to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. Hundreds of bills crossed over on Tuesday but I will concentrate on this particular bill (HB773).
The Virginia House of Delegates passed a controversial religious freedom bill. Opponents called this bill the discrimination bill. However, supporters said House Bill 773 is needed to protect business owners from being punished by the government for exercising their religious beliefs about marriage, sex, and transgender issues. Opponents said it promoted discrimination and will stop new businesses from moving into the state. It’s unlikely that Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, will sign the bill into law.
*The Supreme Court in Larson v. Valente held that “one religious denomination cannot be officially preferred over another.” Giving persons with specific enumerated religious or moral beliefs over the beliefs of others is in direct opposition to this ruling.
*The Virginia Constitution expressly protects the “rights to be free from any governmental discrimination upon the basis of religious conviction.”
View the full text of the Government Nondiscrimation Act; created – House Bill 773 courtesy of Richmond Sunlight.