jefferson faceWritten by Don Byrd

The Virginia General Assembly has sent controversial legislation to the Governor that would protect individuals from government penalty solely for acting in accordance with their religious opposition to same-sex marriage. (A similar proposal is moving forward in Missouri as a constitutional amendment). The bill passed the Virginia House Wednesday on a 59-38 vote. The Senate subsequentaly adopted the House version 21-19.

SB41 reads in part:

B. No person shall be:

1. Required to participate in the solemnization of any marriage; or

2. Subject to any penalty, any civil liability, or any other action by the Commonwealth, or its political subdivisions or representatives or agents, solely on account of such person’s belief, speech, or action in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.

WTOP reports that the Governor is expected to veto the measure.