Virginia House of Delegates member, Chris Head, has introduced House Bill 19 — legislation that would serve as a faith-based protection for clergy or other individuals authorized to celebrate the rites of matrimony in the Commonwealth. The bill would protect clergy from having to violate their religious beliefs in the post same-sex marriage landscape.
Even though it doesn’t directly mention same-sex marriage, Del. Head (R-Botetourt County) said it was drafted with that as a consideration in the future. Head stated: “The purpose of this bill is simply to absolutely clarify that pastors of churches shouldn’t be compelled to perform a ceremony that violates the tenets of their religion; nothing more.”
According to the Roanoke News, Head described the bill as a, “…preventive step aimed at heading off disputes before they start.” Head said: “I don’t think it will be very controversial, quite honestly.” He added: “Because it’s not about trying to remove rights from anybody; it’s about trying to protect rights [for pastors].”
Victoria Cobb, president of theFamily Foundation of Virginia, sees the legislation as a positive step. Continue Reading