A liberal Democrat Virginia lawmaker is reportedly fuming after her bill was signed into law, reports WVTF, Virginia Public Radio.
Problem for her is, the state’s new, conservative governor amended her freedom-of-religious-expression bill and made it actually protect people’s religious freedom.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed HB 1063 into law on June 2 after clarifying that the freedom of expression for “religion” includes any outward display of religious faith.
The bill was introduced by Del. Irene Shin of the 86th District, which includes parts of Fairfax and Loudoun counties. Shin’s original intent was to protect people from discrimination when they wear an outward expression of faith like a Muslim headscarf or a Jewish yarmulke.
Now the delegate is furious, however, since Youngkin’s amendment actually defining religion would protect those who don’t want to be forced to use the inaccurate, fantastical “preferred pronouns” of transgender people.
Shin vented on Twitter that Youngkin “hijacked my bill to push his own insidious, right-wing agenda. … The practical implications of the Governor’s amendment would be to create legal protections for discriminatory and bigoted policies, acts and beliefs under the guise of religion. … The fact that this Administration would co-opt a universally approved bipartisan measure designed to ensure equal protections and weaponize it to advance their agenda of discrimination and division, while sadly unsurprising, is still appalling.”
Except that now people can’t be persecuted for refusing to participate in the elaborate lie of transgenderism. They can speak the truth, which Shin seems to regard as a “discriminatory and bigoted” act.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor applauded the new law and praised both Youngkin and the Virginia General Assembly for clarifying the definition of religion in the law.
“All Americans are guaranteed the right to free speech and the free exercise of religion. Government officials have a duty to protect and promote these freedoms. HB 1063 provides a necessary and helpful clarification in the law to help ensure Virginians won’t face discrimination simply for outwardly expressing their religious beliefs,” Baylor said in a statement.