When the West Virginia House of Delegates was controlled by the Democratic party the Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed by a whopping 92-2 vote. That’s pretty impressive no matter what the topic. Now the full house will have a chance to vote on these same protections once again. Citizens of the Mountain State are in a rare position where they will be able to witness what happens when political power shifts and historical votes can be proven or disproven as genuine. In 2012, 92 members of the House voted to make RFRA (HB4012) the law in West Virginia.
Thirty-nine of those members still hold office and in a couple of days will have the opportunity to vote on the bill once again. But this time the bill carries bigger stakes. Unlike 2012 this time the House members know that once passed, the bill will actually get a vote in the senate as well. So will those same delegates demonstrate that they really believed in protecting religious freedom? Or will some of those same YES votes in 2012 be exposed as political posturing for their campaigns?
Back then they knew in a senate led by President Jeff Kessler the bill was dead on arrival. For those of you following this legislation closely its important to note that there are two ways people of faith can get a win on this issue.
1. The bill becomes law and we celebrate God’s protections set into West Virginia law. 2. We don’t get across the finish line this time but we get every elected official on record voting for or against. Then we provide that record to the voting public and reshape the legislature with people who believe in religious freedom. Stay tuned. Things are developing rapidly.