Gov. McAuliffe vetoes Virginia “religious freedom” bill

On Wednesday, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed “religious freedom” legislation that could have opened the door to discrimination against the LGBT community.  The bill, which was similar to one vetoed earlier in the week by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, would have prevented authorities from taking action against religious organizations that refuse to provide services to same-sex couples.

While McAuliffe’s veto is not unexpected, he has nonetheless been praised by advocates of LGBT equality.  The bill does not have enough support in either house of the state legislature for the veto to be overridden.

Explaining why he was going to veto the legislation, McAuliffe expressed that the bill “is unconstitutional. It is discriminatory. It demonizes folks. It brings fear and persecution. We can’t tolerate that. We need Virginia to be open and welcoming to everyone.” A recent poll from Christopher Newport University found that a majority of people in the state were opposed to faith-based discrimination against the LGBT community.

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