SB 40 passed out of committee last week but Senator Carrico asked for his “Kim Davis Bill” to be referred back because, as written, he discovered it had unintended consequences. In his words “there was never any intention of this dealing with interracial marriages or anything else,” anything else but denying marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples!
In a Richmond Sunlight post, the ACLU of Virginia said they strongly opposed Carrico’s SB 40 because public officials, especially elected ones, take an oath to uphold the laws, and with same-sex marriage being legal, they must do their jobs.
“Freedom of religion is not a license to discriminate,” reads the comment. “‘Conscience’ would not permit a public official to choose not to serve people of color or people with disabilities or all women or all men, nor should it be allowed to be used as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT Virginians.”
According to the Washington Post, Senate Democrats have been referring to the legislation as a “Kim Davis Bill” as it would allow county clerks like Davis to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Contact your senator today and voice your opposition to Kim Davis-style exemptions in Virginia!
WHY WE OPPOSE IT:
Clerks and deputy clerks, acting as agents of the state, act under the color of the law and no one acting under color of the law can violate the equal protections guaranteed to others under the United States Constitution.
Government officials swear an oath to faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of their office. When public officials seek to deny services to taxpaying citizens based on their religious beliefs, they are not living up to that oath or serving the common good.
Lastly, in America we believe that the government should treat everyone equally under the law and not discriminate. Government officials who have sworn an oath to serve the public shouldn’t be able to pick and choose who they’re going to serve based on their religious beliefs.
Use the action below to voice your opposition to this bill and let your senator know that Kim Davis-style refusal liscence bills like SB 40 have no place in Virginia!
Equality Virginia is the leading statewide, non-partisan advocacy, outreach and education organization seeking equality for LGBT Virginians. EV believes in a truly inclusive Commonwealth where all are equally welcomed and valued, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.