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‘To tell people of faith that they can believe what they want but cannot legally act upon those beliefs is to force them into the closet’

June 6, 2022

TUPELO, Miss. — A new bill signed by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has Christian leaders across the nation celebrating. Virginia House Bill 1063 now legally defines religion as including actions and expressions, not just personal belief. This clarification is a step forward in the fight to protect religious liberty in Virginia. Virginia law forbids prejudice based on religion in multiple contexts yet fails to define the actual term “religion.” By defining religion in the law, this new bill gives religious Virginians the freedom to express their faith without fear of hostility or discrimination.

American Family Association (AFA, www.AFA.net), a leader in biblical worldview training for cultural transformation, praised Youngkin and the bill, claiming that the bill was a massive win for religious leaders across the country and urging other state legislatures to follow suit.

Ed Vitagliano, executive vice president of AFA, stated, “Legislators in Virginia and Governor Glenn Youngkin should be applauded for this, as the law clarifies and protects an essential part of religious liberty. To tell people of faith that they can believe what they want but cannot legally act upon those beliefs is to force them into the closet. That’s not liberty — it’s tyranny. AFA encourages legislatures in other states to consider similar measures to guarantee the religious freedoms we once took for granted.”

For over 40 years, AFA has operated within the mission to inform, equip and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission.  Founded in 1977, AFA has long been on the front lines of America’s culture war. Today, AFA is one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country, with nearly a million online supporters and approximately 110,000 subscribers to The Stand (formerly known as the AFA Journal), the ministry’s monthly magazine.  Find AFA Action Alerts here.  In addition, AFA owns and operates nearly 180 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio banner. 

View the media page for AFA here. For more information on American Family Association, visitwww.afa.net or follow AFA on Facebook or Twitter @AmericanFamAssc.