A bill which would allow all persons authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in Virginia, including judges and public officiants, to refuse to conduct marriages that violate a “sincerely held religious belief” passed a full Senate vote today and is now headed to the House. Senator Ebbin spoke against the bill on the floor saying "it's a solution in search of a problem" and added that "proposals like these, licenses like these, desecrate the very thing they claim to protect."
Senator Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria) expressed deep concern following the party-line vote to pass SB41, legislation that would allow marriage celebrants to refuse to solemnize a marriage if doing so would violate their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Speaking on the Senate floor, Ebbin said, “This bill is thoroughly unnecessary. It sanctions discrimination by government employees. We are the birthplace of the Statute for Religious Freedom. We enjoy one of the richest histories of any state when it comes to that freedom. Proposals like these — licenses to discriminate — desecrate the very things they claim to protect. This bill carves out a space for bigotry cloaked under the guise of religious freedom.”
Arlington’s seven-member legislative delegation voted against Gov. McAuliffe's compromise on recognition of out-of-state concealed-weapons permits.
Richmond, Va. – This morning, two nondiscrimination bills made it through the Virginia Senate. Senator Adam Ebbin’s (D-Alexandria) and Senator Donald McEachin's (D-Henrico) bill, SB12, regarding nondiscrimination in public employment and Senator Jennifer Wexton’s (D-Loudoun) bill, SB67, regarding discriminatory housing practices both passed 25-15 with all Democrats in favor. The bills now make their way to the Senate floor.
Addressing the Senate floor, Senator Ebbin said, “We want talented workers to go to work rather than worry about how they’ll be treated and an assurance that when we attract people to Virginia they can permanently work here in a discrimination free workplace.”
Members of a Virginia Senate committee on Monday approved two anti-discrimination bills.
Senate Bill 12, which would ban anti-LGBT discrimination against state employees, passed in the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee by a 9-4 vote margin.
The committee on Monday also approved Senate Bill 67, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Virginia Fair Housing Act.