SB41: Religious freedom; marriage solemnization, participation, and beliefs.


VIRGINIA ACTS OF ASSEMBLY -- CHAPTER
An Act to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 57-2.03, relating to religious freedom; marriage solemnization, participation, and beliefs.
[S 41]
Approved
 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 57-2.03 as follows:

§ 57-2.03. Religious freedom; marriage.

A. For purposes of this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Penalty" means any action taken by the Commonwealth, or its political subdivisions or representatives or agents, that (i) alters in any way the tax treatment of, or causes any tax, tax penalty, or payment to be assessed against, or denies, delays, or revokes an exemption from taxation of, any person; (ii) disallows a deduction for tax purposes of any charitable contribution made to or by any person; (iii) withholds, reduces, excludes, terminates, or otherwise makes unavailable or denies (a) any state grant, contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, guarantee, loan, scholarship, license, certification, accreditation, employment, or other similar position or status from or to any person; (b) any entitlement or benefit under a state benefit program, including admission to, equal treatment in, or eligibility for a degree from an educational program, from or to any person; or (c) any entitlement to state property, facilities, educational institutions, speech forums, or charitable fundraising campaigns from or to any person.

"Person" means any (i) religious organization, (ii) organization supervised or controlled by or operated in connection with a religious organization, (iii) individual employed by a religious organization while acting in the scope of his paid or volunteer employment, (iv) successor, representative, agent, agency, or instrumentality of any of the foregoing, or (v) clergy member or minister.

B. No person shall be:

1. Required to participate in the solemnization of any marriage; or

2. Subject to any penalty, any civil liability, or any other action by the Commonwealth, or its political subdivisions or representatives or agents, solely on account of such person's belief, speech, or action in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.


SENATE BILL NO. 41
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the House Committee on General Laws
on March 3, 2016)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Senator Carrico)
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 57-2.03, relating to religious freedom; marriage solemnization, participation, and beliefs.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 57-2.03 as follows:

§ 57-2.03. Religious freedom; marriage.

A. For purposes of this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Penalty" means any action taken by the Commonwealth, or its political subdivisions or representatives or agents, that (i) alters in any way the tax treatment of, or causes any tax, tax penalty, or payment to be assessed against, or denies, delays, or revokes an exemption from taxation of, any person; (ii) disallows a deduction for tax purposes of any charitable contribution made to or by any person; (iii) withholds, reduces, excludes, terminates, or otherwise makes unavailable or denies (a) any state grant, contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, guarantee, loan, scholarship, license, certification, accreditation, employment, or other similar position or status from or to any person; (b) any entitlement or benefit under a state benefit program, including admission to, equal treatment in, or eligibility for a degree from an educational program, from or to any person; or (c) any entitlement to state property, facilities, educational institutions, speech forums, or charitable fundraising campaigns from or to any person.

"Person" means any (i) religious organization, (ii) organization supervised or controlled by or operated in connection with a religious organization, (iii) individual employed by a religious organization while acting in the scope of his paid or volunteer employment, (iv) successor, representative, agent, agency, or instrumentality of any of the foregoing, or (v) clergy member or minister.

B. No person shall be:

1. Required to participate in the solemnization of any marriage; or

2. Subject to any penalty, any civil liability, or any other action by the Commonwealth, or its political subdivisions or representatives or agents, solely on account of such person's belief, speech, or action in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.


SENATE BILL NO. 41
FLOOR AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by Senator Ebbin
on February 12, 2016)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Senator Carrico)
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 57-2.03 and to repeal §§ 20-45.2 and 20-45.3 of the Code of Virginia, relating to religious freedom; solemnization of marriage.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 57-2.03 as follows:

§ 57-2.03. Religious freedom; solemnization of marriage.

A. No clergy person authorized to celebrate the rites of marriage pursuant to §§ 20-23 and 20-26 shall be required to solemnize any marriage.

B. A refusal by such person to solemnize a marriage shall not give rise to civil or criminal liability or any other action by the Commonwealth or a political subdivision to penalize or withhold benefits or privileges.

C. No court, clerk, or other government agency, official, or employee shall refer the public or the parties to a marriage to any persons other than clergy persons authorized to celebrate the rites of marriage pursuant to § 20-25 unless the order authorizing the celebrant provides that the celebrant shall not decline to solemnize a marriage between such parties who are lawfully licensed to be married. A celebrant shall not be deemed to have been referred solely on the basis that a person has requested and received confirmation that the celebrant is authorized.  

2. That §§ 20-45.2 and 20-45.3 of the Code of Virginia are repealed.


SENATE BILL NO. 41
Senate Amendments in [ ] – February 12, 2016
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 57-2.03, relating to religious freedom; solemnization of marriage.
Patrons Prior to Engrossment--Senators Carrico and Chafin

Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 57-2.03 as follows:

§ 57-2.03. Religious freedom; solemnization of marriage.

A. No person authorized to perform a marriage ceremony pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 20-13 et seq.) of Title 20 shall be required to solemnize any marriage, and no religious organization, organization supervised or controlled by or operated in connection with a religious organization, individual employed by a religious organization while acting in the scope of his employment, or clergy member or minister shall be required to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization of any marriage if the action would cause the individual or organization to violate a sincerely held religious belief.

B. A refusal to solemnize a marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges under subsection A shall not give rise to civil or criminal liability or any other action by the Commonwealth or a political subdivision to penalize or withhold benefits or privileges, including tax exemptions or governmental contracts, grants, or licenses, from any individual or organization listed in subsection A.

 [ 2. That the provisions of this act are declarative. ]


SENATE BILL NO. 41
Senate Amendments in [ ] -- February 11, 2016
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 57-2.03, relating to religious freedom; solemnization of marriage.
Patrons Prior to Engrossment--Senators Carrico and Chafin

Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 57-2.03 as follows:

§ 57-2.03. Religious freedom; solemnization of marriage.

A. No person authorized to perform a marriage ceremony pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 20-13 et seq.) of Title 20 shall be required to solemnize any marriage, and no religious organization, organization supervised or controlled by or operated in connection with a religious organization, individual employed by a religious organization while acting in the scope of his employment, or clergy member or minister shall be required to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization of any marriage if the action would cause the individual or organization to violate a sincerely held religious belief.

B. A refusal to solemnize a marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges under subsection A shall not give rise to civil or criminal liability or any other action by the Commonwealth or a political subdivision to penalize or withhold benefits or privileges, including tax exemptions or governmental contracts, grants, or licenses, from any individual or organization listed in subsection A.

 [ 2. That the provisions of this act are declarative. ]

SENATE BILL NO. 41

Offered January 13, 2016
Prefiled December 15, 2015
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 57-2.03, relating to religious freedom; solemnization of marriage.
Patron-- Carrico

Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 57-2.03 as follows:

§ 57-2.03. Religious freedom; solemnization of marriage.

A. No person authorized to perform a marriage ceremony pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 20-13 et seq.) of Title 20 shall be required to solemnize any marriage, and no religious organization, organization supervised or controlled by or operated in connection with a religious organization, individual employed by a religious organization while acting in the scope of his employment, or clergy member or minister shall be required to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization of any marriage if the action would cause the individual or organization to violate a sincerely held religious belief.

B. A refusal to solemnize a marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges under subsection A shall not give rise to civil or criminal liability or any other action by the Commonwealth or a political subdivision to penalize or withhold benefits or privileges, including tax exemptions or governmental contracts, grants, or licenses, from any individual or organization listed in subsection A.