Religious freedom bill dies in Virginia Senate


On Wednesday, a Virginia Senate committee failed to advance a bill that would exempt certain religious and religiously-affiliated groups from adhering to state non-discrimination laws.

Virginia law under the bill would have been amended to exempt “any lodging establishment owned by or operated on behalf of a corporation, association, or religious society from the non-discrimination provisions in accommodation of the Virginia Human Rights Act”. according to a description of the invoice.

Introduced in January by Rep. Les Adams(R), the bill also argued that nothing in the Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits a religious or religiously affiliated organization “from taking any action to promote the principles religions for which it is established or maintained”. .” It was passed by the Virginia House of Delegates late last week.


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In a tweetLGBTQ+ advocacy group Equality Virginia called the bill’s defeat “good news” saying it would have “authorized discrimination based on religion against LGBTQ+ Virginians”.

Rep. Adams last week in a blog post wrote that the bill was drafted to “protect the religious freedom of Christian organizations and other religious groups.”

On Wednesday, before the bill was defeated in the state Senate, Adams wrote in another blog post that he believed the bill would pass through the Senate with “expected Republican support” and that he had “no doubt that it would be signed by Governor Youngkin”.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, more than 260 anti-LGBTQ+ bills are pending in state legislatures, including eight in Virginia.

The Virginia House of Delegates earlier this month defeated a measure this would have allowed voters to decide whether the state should repeal language in its Constitution defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.


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