Human rights and fair housing; religious organizations, promotion of religious principles.

Bill Summary:

Human rights and fair housing; religious organizations;
promotion of religious principles.
Provides that nothing in the Virginia
Human Rights Act prohibits a religious corporation, association, or society, or
any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled
by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society,
from taking any action to promote the religious principles for which it is established
or maintained. The bill exempts any place of accommodation owned by or operated
on behalf of a religious corporation, association, or society from the
nondiscrimination in public places of accommodation provisions of the Virginia Human Rights Act. Under
current law, such places of accommodation are exempt only when not open to the
public. The bill adds preschools to the list of
educational institutions that are exempt from discriminatory hiring
practices with respect to the hiring and employment of employees of a
particular religion when such institutions are owned,
supported, controlled, or managed by a particular religion or religious
corporation, association, or society. The bill clarifies that the term "religion" includes all aspects of religious
observance and practice as well as belief for the purposes of the
exemption from discrimination in employment of
individuals employed to perform work associated with the
activities of a particular religion by a religious corporation,
association, educational institution, or society. The bill removes provisions
allowing (i) a court or jury in a civil action that finds unlawful
discrimination has occurred to order such affirmative action as may be
appropriate and (ii) the Attorney General to seek to
obtain such relief as would be available to a private party when he intervenes
in a civil action for unlawful discrimination. The bill also removes the
provision of the exemption for religious organizations under the Virginia Fair
Housing Law that denies such exemption where the membership in such religion is
restricted on account of race, color, national origin, sex, elderliness,
familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, or

Bill Patron: Peake

Last Action(s):
(Senate) Passed by indefinitely in General Laws and Technology (8-Y 7-N) January 26, 2022

Bill Status: