Virginia governor vetoes LGBT discrimination bill | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Virginia governor vetoes LGBT discrimination bill

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2016 at 2:38 PM

Another elected official with moxie. And respect for the U.S. Constitution. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed state legislation that allows the use of religion as a pretext to discriminate against LGBT people.

In Arkansas, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson effectively endorsed legislation that protects those who discriminate. As in Arkansas, the Virginia bill allows people to refuse service to gay people.

“Although couched as a ‘religious freedom’ bill, this legislation is nothing more than an attempt to stigmatize,” McAuliffe said in his veto message. “Any legitimate protections afforded by Senate Bill 41 are duplicative of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Virginia; and the Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Any additional protections are styled in a manner that prefers one religious viewpoint — that marriage can only validly exist between a man and a woman — over all other viewpoints. Such a dynamic is not only unconstitutional, it equates to discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.

“This legislation is also bad for business and creates roadblocks as we try to build the new Virginia economy,” McAuliffe continued, referencing the backlash felt by the state of North Carolina after lawmakers rammed through an anti-LGBT bill in a special session. “…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.”
You'll not hear the likes of those words from Arkansas statewide officials. 

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