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Gov. McAuliffe Vetoes Key Legislation

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe yesterday vetoed Senate Bill 41, which would shield from civil liability those who actively discriminate against same-sex couples.

In a statement the governor said, “I veto Senate Bill 41, which would shield from civil liability those who actively discriminate against same-sex couples. Although couched as a ‘religious freedom’ bill, this legislation is nothing more than an attempt to stigmatize. 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.”

McAuliffe also vetoed House Bill 1090 which would have prohibited the Virginia Department of Health from entering into contracts or providing funds to any entity that performs or maintains a facility providing non-federally qualified abortions.