RICHMOND, VA (AP) – The Virginia Catholic Conference and other groups are calling on lawmakers to support legislation they say would protect businesses and individuals that oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds.
The bills introduced by Republican Sen. Bill Carrico and Del. Todd Gilbert face long odds in the General Assembly, where Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has already vowed to veto them.
The legislation aims to prevent government entities from denying things like grants, contracts, and licenses to individuals and businesses that oppose same-sex marriage.
Jeff Caruso, executive director of the Virginia Catholic Conference, says the state must ensure that groups can put their beliefs into practice, without being punished for them.
The ACLU of Virginia has said the measure would give such individuals and businesses a “license to discriminate” against LGBT residents.