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Virginia senator introduces bill that allows clerks to deny marriage licenses to gay couples

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RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia Senator has introduced a bill to the General Assembly that would make it legal for a clerk or deputy clerk to refuse to issue a marriage license if such clerk has an objection based on personal, ethical, moral, or religious grounds.

Sen. Charles Carrico Sr. (R.) of the 40th district said many of his constituents were concerned about what happened to Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who spent five days in jail last year for denying licenses to same-sex couples, according to the Associated Press.

Charles Carrico Sr. (Credit: http://billcarrico.us/)

Charles Carrico Sr. (Credit: http://billcarrico.us/)

The bill would send the engaged party to the Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain the license through the State Registrar of Vital Records.

Governor Terry McAuliffe has already vowed to veto Carrico’s bill if it passed the GOP-controlled General Assembly.

James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia, told the AP, the Supreme Court’s June ruling that effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide has sparked a rush of Virginia legislation that he considers “harmful or discriminatory” to the LGBT community.

Carrico is the lawmaker who also filed a bill to reinstate the Confederate flag on license plates for members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in December. Gov. McAuliffe said he would veto that bill as well.

The Virginia General Assembly convenes on Wednesday, January 13, 2016.

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