Virginia’s Democratic Governor Just Vetoed Obnoxious Anti-LGBT Bill

This is why elections have consequences. During the off-year election of 2013, one of thew few bright spots was my new home state of Virginia which elected Democrat Terry McAuliffe to the governorship. While the State Senate and House remain in the hands of Republicans, having a non-crazy person as the governor paid off on Wednesday as Gov. McAuliffe vetoed a bill designed to protect “religious freedom” by granting the highly unconstitutional right to discriminate against the LGBT community:

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on Wednesday vetoed a Republican-backed bill that would have prohibited state agencies from punishing religious organizations that discriminate against same-sex couples.

McAuliffe vetoed the Virginia bill during a radio appearance.

“It’s unconstitutional, it is discriminatory,” he said on WTOP. “It demonizes folks. It brings fear and persecution. We can’t tolerate that.”

In North Carolina businesses are pushing back against the law, and McAuliffe said the Virginia bill would have hurt his efforts to grow the economy.

“We need Virginia to be open and welcoming to everyone,” he said.

Republican legislatures have been pushing a series of these bills all over the country in a desperate bid to undo the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality. The problem is that Corporate America understands that the culture war against homosexuality is lost and doing business in states that pass these laws hurts their bottom line. The pressure they apply to Republican governors is enormous and they’re capitulating, much to the extreme displeasure of the right wing.

In the case of Gov. McAuliffe, he’s simply being a decent human being, an alien concept to Republicans.

Just to reiterate, elections matter. McAuliffe ran against Ken Cuccinelli in 2013. Cuccinelli was infamous for championing an anti-sodomy law because butt sex is all gross and icky so it has to be outlawed. If he had won in 2013, this article would have been titled “Anal-Sex Obsessed Republican Governor Signs Anti-LGBT Bill Into Law, Vows To Reinstate Stoning Of Homosexuals.”

At best, Virginia would have wasted millions in tax-payer dollars defending it in court only to lose when it reached the Supreme Court. At worst, it would have signaled the regressive right in the state that it was OK to openly attack the LGBT community again with little fear of repercussions.

Sorry, Republicans. Virginia is for lovers and you don’t get to tell us which kind of lovers are “acceptable.”


Featured image via wamu.org