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RICHMOND, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) — Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin signed legislation on Friday that codifies homosexual “marriage” into state law.

“No person authorized… to issue a marriage license shall deny the issuance of such license to two parties contemplating a lawful marriage on the basis of the sex, gender, or race of such parties,” HB 174 states.

The Virginia Senate passed the bill 22-17, with one Republican senator, David Suetterlein, supporting the bill.

Five Republicans voted with Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates: Rob Bloxom, Carrie Coyner, Chad Green, Kim Taylor, and David Owen, according to Legiscan.

A homosexual activist group applauded Youngkin’s decision. “Two years into his term, Governor Youngkin has shown leadership and inclusivity, and has finally listened to his constituents with his signing of HB174,” stated Equality Virginia, which lobbies against bills to protect children from transgender surgeries and drugs, LGBT indoctrination, and secret “gender transitions” at school.

Virginia had repealed its law protecting biblical marriage in 2020, following the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision that forced all 50 states to recognize “unions” between two men or two women.

Youngkin’s office said he signed the bill because it contains religious liberty carveouts, without addressing the fact that Youngkin gave state sanction to immoral homosexual activity in contradiction to his professed Christian beliefs and Republican voters’ opposition to homosexual “marriage.”

“The bill adds First Amendment protections to the code of Virginia,” Youngkin spokesman Christian Martinez told the media. “Religious organizations and members of the clergy acting in their religious capacity now have the authority to decline to officiate marriage ceremonies that violate their conscience.”

The bill’s religious liberty provisions are extremely limited, however. They do not protect businesses or individuals who refuse to participate in same-sex “marriages” based on their religious beliefs or adoption agencies that decline to place children with homosexuals, for example.

Rather, the bill only says that formally religious organizations and clergy members may decline to “perform any marriage.” The First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act already protect clergy members’ right not to solemnize a homosexual “marriage,” according to Family Research Council.

The Virginia state constitution still prohibits same-sex “marriages.”

The move by Youngkin is the latest socially liberal action the investor turned governor has taken. While Youngkin pulled off a surprise victory in 2021 by emphasizing parental rights and pushing back on transgender ideology, he hosted a series of LGBT “pride” events in 2022.

During his 2021 campaign, he said in an interview with the Associated Press that homosexual “marriage” is “legally acceptable” in Virginia and that he would “support that” as governor.

He also publicly supports allowing abortion in almost every case.

Prior to the 2023 Virginia elections, Youngkin spent $1.4 million on ads emphasizing that Republicans did not want to ban all abortions. Instead, they wanted to pass a 15-week prohibition that might protect around three percent of babies.

The governor’s endorsement of same-sex “marriage” also comes as LGBT activists have increasingly influenced Republican politics, with some conservatives cheering on homosexual commentators who procure children by way of surrogacy. Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, a professed Catholic, also won an award from the Log Cabin Republicans for endorsing her daughter’s lesbian inclinations.

President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago also recently hosted a homosexual “wedding,” which followed another homosexual celebration at Mar-a-Lago in 2022, as reported by LifeSiteNews.