by Duane Paul Murphy
Democratic Virginia governor and potential 2020 presidential candidate Terry McAuliffe vetoed a “religious freedom” bill that would have allowed legalized discrimination against LGBTQ individuals or couples. Senate Bill 1325, proposed by Republican State Senator Charles Carrico of Galax and Southwest Virginia, would not require any individual or religious institution to officiate any LGBTQ marriage and prohibit state officials from punishing people or organizations that refuse to take party in a homosexual marriage due to their own personal religious beliefs. Republican State Delegate Nick Freitas of Culpeper County introduced a similar legislative proposal in the Virginia House of Delegates, the lower chamber of the bicameral state legislature. States such as Indiana and North Carolina have similar laws on their state legal books.