The Virginia House of Delegates on
Thursday approved a bill which seeks to protect opponents of marriage
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
Equality Virginia Executive Director
James Parrish called the bill “dangerous.”
“We recognize that religion is a
vital part of many Virginians’ daily lives, but HB 2025 does not
protect religious liberty. Instead, it provides a license to
discriminate against loving LGBTQ families,” Parirish said in a
statement released through the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
“Furthermore, its broad and vague definition of ‘person’ would
set a dangerous precedent for discriminatory individuals and groups
to be protected by our religious freedom laws.”
Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe
vetoed a similar bill last year.