Earlier this General Assembly session, the Senate Courts of Justice committee defeated legislation by Senator Steve Martin that would have protected the religious liberty and free speech rights of Virginia citizens asked to pray before government meetings. The bill, SB 1072, was a response to both the Fourth Circuit Court's Turner decision, and the state police's decision to censor prayers by its chaplains. Opponents, such as the ACLU, lined up to ensure that our religious liberty and free speech rights were trampled. Once again opponents completely misrepresented the facts and misused the law — big surprise.
On the side of religious liberty were the Alliance Defense Fund's senior counsel Mike Johnson and the Soliciter General of the Commonwealth Steve McCullough. Despite their clear and honest presentation of the facts, the committee killed the bill.
Take a look for yourself at some of the testimony and questioning: