RICHMOND, Va. -- It is perhaps one of the more controversial bills set for debate in the Virginia General Assembly when the 2015 session begins this week. House Bill 1414, introduced by Delegate Bob Marshall (R - Prince William), would allow anyone who obtained a state license to morally or religiously object to serving someone who is gay or lesbian.
Below is the text as filed:
A person seeking to obtain or renew a license, registration, or certificate from the Commonwealth, its political subdivisions, or any agency, authority, board, department, or other entity thereof, shall not be required to perform, assist, consent to, or participate in any action or refrain from performing, assisting, consenting to, or participating in any action as a condition of obtaining or renewing the license, registration, or certificate where such condition would violate the religious or moral convictions of such person with respect to same-sex "marriage" or homosexual behavior.
Marshall said he proposed the bill to protect people from being fired for simply believing in something else.
"We don't tell attorneys you will accept any client that walks off the street, we'd don't tell doctors you have to do an abortion," Marshall said. "This has to do with licensing. So say Sally Smith is a clinical psychologist and she has a professional, ethical or moral objection to counseling in favor of same-sex relationships - Sally should not be prohibited from obtaining a license to counsel in Virginia."
Marshall said he is trying to stop the efforts of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on the issue of LGBT rights and the Virginia Constitution.
"The point of this is to prevent Terry McAuliffe and Mark Herring from imposing the gay agenda on Virginians," Marshall.
The LGBT community however has fired back at the bill.
"This is discrimination," India Lipton said.
Lipton married her longtime partner in October, on the day gay marriage became legal in Virginia.
In December, Lipton's partner legally adopted her son Dylan.
"It makes me concerned that a health care worker, who's licensed by the state, could say I don't need to treat Dylan because he has two moms," Lipton said.
The Richmond Family Foundation said they are currently reviewing Marshall's legislation.
Governor McAuliffe said he would veto Marshall's bill "in a nanosecond" if it would ever be sent to his desk.