An important religious freedom bill is awaiting action by Governor Terry McAuliffe!
Please click here to contact Governor McAuliffe and ask him to sign SB 41! Or call his office at 804-786-2211!
The bill, SB 41, patroned by Senator Bill Carrico (R-40, Galax), provides modest protections for pastors, churches, religious organizations and schools by prohibiting the state from discriminating against them because of their religious or moral beliefs about marriage. It would ensure that a religious charity won’t be denied equal access to state benefits because of its belief in traditional marriage. It would also ensure that students who attend Christian universities or colleges like Liberty, Regent or Patrick Henry won’t be denied access to Virginia’s Tuition Assistance Grants because those schools have policies based on marriage between one man and one woman.
Opposition to exercising the right of conscience when it comes to marriage is fierce. Opponents of course resort to simply calling anyone who disagrees with them bigots. Yet, it is religious charities that offer vast services to the poor, substance-addicted, homeless, at-risk youth, sexually abused and other struggling populations, and they do so far more effectively and efficiently than government. Religious charities operate hospitals, orphanages and schools. But if these faith-based organizations can’t operate according to their beliefs, they are no longer faith-based, but agents of the government.
As the Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson said, “In June 2015, the Supreme Court redefined marriage throughout America by mandating that governmental entities treat same-sex relationships as marriages. The Supreme Court, however, did not say that private schools, charities, businesses, or individuals must abandon their beliefs if they disagree.”
As the debate in Virginia and across America continues to unfold, it is very clear that secular liberals have every intention of weaponizing government to do just that – force those who have deeply held beliefs about marriage to abandon them in order to participate in the public square. In Virginia, we are fighting back against that kind of discrimination!