Virginia governor vetoes ‘religious exemption’ bill


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed legislation he said would legalize discrimination of the LGBT community.

The Democratic governor made the announcement Wednesday during a radio appearance on WTOP.

The measure would prohibit the state from punishing religious groups that refuse services related to gay marriages. Republican supporters said it would protect people from expressing their religious beliefs.

Opponents assailed it as an attack on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Virginians.

Republican-backed measures related to LGBT rights recently have attracted fierce national push back from large corporations in Georgia and North Carolina. Georgia GOP Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a bill similar to Virginia’s earlier this week.

But the fight in Virginia has received significantly less attention, thanks largely to McAuliffe’s repeated promises to veto the bill.