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Virginia legislators on Friday decided to take a closer look at a bill to make sure that it would not let court clerks deny marriage licenses to interracial couples.
“I know that we say and do some things after long days here,” he said.
“I made the mistake of saying something, and we want to make sure and have the clerks review this and the constitutionality.
It was never intended for anything of that nature to violate anything of a protected class.” [Clerks could deny marriage licenses to gays under bill advanced in Virginia] The bill would give clerks or deputy clerks the freedom to refuse to issue licenses to couples if they object to their unions on “personal, ethical, moral, or religious grounds.” Those they turn away could be issued marriage licenses at a Department of Motor Vehicle office — an option that critics liken to the “separate-but-equal” justification for segregated schools that was ultimately declared unconstitutional.
The legislation does not specify any class of couples that could be denied licenses from clerks, but Democrats dubbed it the “Kim Davis bill,” a reference to the Kentucky clerk who was jailed last year after refusing to issue licenses to same-sex couples.
[ Kentucky clerk Kim Davis seeks exemption on gay marriage licenses ] Carrico volunteered examples of clerks who objected to issuing licenses to same-sex couples or couples who had been previously divorced. they would have an option to be able to allow those individuals to go to the DMV,” Carrico said.
“Whether it be homosexual marriage or two heterosexuals who were divorced before, whatever that religious reason is . When asked hypothetically whether the measure would cover clerks who object to granting licenses to interracial couples, Carrico initially said it would.
He later said that, upon reflection, it would not apply because race is a “protected class” under anti-discrimination laws.
Opponents, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, contend that the measure — even as intended — is unconstitutional.
But supporters, including the Family Foundation of Virginia, said it is needed to protect religious liberties in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in June that legalized gay marriage.