Christian groups sue Virginia A.G. over law that fines them for their religious beliefs

Christian groups sue Virginia A.G. over law that fines them for their religious beliefs
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[Ed. – Touted as the “Virginia Values Act,” the law requires them to hire people who don’t embrace their beliefs, and provide services they disagree with, such as insurance that covers transgender surgery, or pay prohibitive fines for each “offense.”]

Three Christian schools and a Christian network of pregnancy centers are suing Attorney General Mark Herring (D-Va.) in order to prevent Virginia from implementing two pro-LGBT laws that force “people of faith to adopt a particular government ideology under threat of punishment.” The two laws purport to prevent “discrimination” against LGBT people but, in reality, they force Christian ministries to choose between violating their sincerely held religious beliefs or paying hefty fines, as much as $100,000 per offense.

The so-called Virginia Values Act (S.B. 868) … compels churches, religious schools, and Christian ministries to hire employees who do not share their stated beliefs on marriage, sexuality, and gender identity. A companion law (H.B. 1429) requires ministries and others like them to pay for transgender surgery in employee health care plans, a procedure that violates these ministries’ convictions. …

Denise Harle, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the law firm representing the Christian ministries, said in a statement … “Our clients offer spiritual guidance, education, pregnancy support, and athletic opportunities to their communities because of the religious beliefs that motivate them. But Virginia’s new law forces these ministries to abandon and adjust their convictions or pay crippling fines—in direct violation of the Virginia Constitution and other state laws.”

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