Defending the family

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Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin Panders to Homosexual Lobby, Signs Pro-Gay Law

"Once considered the top potential Presidential candidate due to his conservative positions, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin now panders to the homosexual lobby in his signing a law "protecting" homosexual marriage," says Eugene Delgaudio, president of Public Advocate.

Virginia Mercury reports:

In the first signals of how he'll act on legislation approved by Virginia's Democratic General Assembly, Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a largely symbolic bill protecting same-sex marriage but took a more adversarial stance to bills dealing with gun control, reproductive rights and marijuana.

Youngkin had until Friday night to take action on 84 bills the legislature sent to him on a shorter-than-usual timeline. He vetoed eight, recommended changes to 12 and signed the rest.

The General Assembly is scheduled to wrap up its work today and could take up the governor's initial amendments and vetoes when the body convenes this afternoon to vote on the budget and other unfinished business. Any overrides of his vetoes are unlikely, because Democrats are well short of the two-thirds votes necessary to enact laws despite the governor's opposition.

The legislation the governor signed included a high-profile bill to ban legacy admissions at Virginia's colleges and universities, a fairness measure that has drawn broad support after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down race-based affirmative action policies last year.

In one of his more surprising moves, Youngkin signed a Democratic-sponsored bill meant to ensure that same-sex marriage remains legal in Virginia regardless of any future court decisions. Youngkin's office largely emphasized the faith-based exemptions in the bill allowing clergy and religious organizations to decline to perform same-sex weddings.

"The bill adds First Amendment protections to the code of Virginia," said Youngkin spokesman Christian Martinez. "Religious organizations and members of the clergy acting in their religious capacity now have the authority to decline to officiate marriage ceremonies that violate their conscience. The remainder of the bill deals with the ministerial duties of issuing licenses, which is already guided by federal preemption."

The law enacted by Youngkin states that in Virginia, marriage licenses must be issued to any two people seeking a "lawful marriage" regardless of gender, race or sex. That is already the practice in Virginia due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, but the new law would take on greater weight if the high court reverses itself, since it is currently superseded by Virginia's 2006 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Democrats are also working to repeal that legally moot ban within the next few years.

Equality Virginia, a LGBTQ rights advocacy group, applauded Youngkin's decision Friday night.

"Two years into his term, Governor Youngkin has shown leadership and inclusivity, and has finally listened to his constituents with his signing of HB174," said Narissa Rahaman, Equality Virginia's executive director.