Consistent with his previous actions, Virginia's governor has taken another step to silence those who believe in natural marriage.
On Thursday, Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed two bills that are designed to protect people and religious organizations that believe in biblical, one man/one woman marriage. In rejecting SB 2314 and HB 2025, the governor said not only are the measures essentially "discrimination under the guise of religious freedom," but they're also "bad for business" in the state.
Victoria Cobb of the Family Foundation of Virginia says McAuliffe's actions are having a chilling effect on the state's religious community.
"Although there's disagreement over cultural issues, we believe that protecting the right to dissent on issues of religious freedom – protecting that ability to speak out and dissent and to act out in dissent – is essential," she tells OneNewsNow.
According to Cobb, the veto wasn't a big surprise. McAuliffe previously issued an executive order barring the state from doing business with those who object to the homosexual lifestyle. He argued that the legislation implied the state was "more concerned with demonizing people than with creating a strong business climate" and would discourage job creators from locating in the commonwealth.
"He said [the state was] no longer going to contract with them," says Cobb, adding that "the concern we have is this attempt to sort of isolate these organizations; and we need to remember that charitable religious organizations make up a tremendous amount of the work that is done in our communities."
She lists among those services disaster relief, assisting the poor, and making arrangements for adoptions.
And as for the governor's "demonizing" remark? "The governor, of course, is all too comfortable with demonizing anyone who happens to disagree with him," Cobb offers.
Governor McAuliffe set a record last week for the most vetoes in state history. A veto session will begin April 5 with the objective of overturning these latest rejections. The Family Foundation will work to overturn the veto, although Cobb admits she isn't certain at this point that there are enough votes to restore religious freedom.