Virginia Joins List Of US State Vetoing Anti-LGBT LawIn Virginia, Senate Bill 41, a measure that would prevent the state from punishing religious groups or organisations that refuse wedding related services to LGBT individuals, has been proposed.

States around the US are seeing controversial “religious freedom” bills being introduced and discussed in state government. Grayson County Republican, State Senator Charles W. Carrico Sr. Said the bill was supposed to protect ministers and other religious organisations from last year’s SCOTUS ruling legalising same-sex marriage.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe made true on last year’s promise and vetoed the bill on Wednesday. The governor released a statement saying,  “Any legitimate protections afforded by Senate Bill 41 are duplicative of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”

“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,” he continued. “Such a dynamic is not only unconstitutional, it equates to discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.”

When speaking about his decision, the governor also pointed to the issues being seen in other southern states, especially North Carolina passing an anti-LGBT bill and Georgia being threatened with economic consequences before news broke that the Governor Deal vetoed his own state’s bill.

Governor McAuliffe said, “Many of our employers hire gay employees. They want their employees to be left alone. We can’t tolerate that. We cannot have fear and persecution and people being demonized.”

Executive Director of Equality Virginia James Parrish said, “Equality Virginia applauds Governor McAuliffe for fulfilling his promise to veto this discriminatory and destructive bill.”

He said that the bill “sought to blatantly and directly discriminate against gay and lesbian couples and families under the guise of religious freedom, and we are thankful to have a governor opposing this and working to make Virginia more open and welcoming for everyone, not less.”