Equality Virginia website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed Republican-backed legislation that would bar the government from punishing anyone who refuses to participate in same-sex weddings because of their religious beliefs.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, vetoed similar legislation last year. Republican supporters say the measure is necessary to protect religious freedom.

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CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) - The Chesapeake City Council has decided to display the motto "In God We Trust" at City Hall.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the council approved the display in a 7-0 vote on Tuesday.

The proposal was introduced by Councilwoman Suzy Kelly and was backed by the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, a Chesapeake-based organization that plans to donate a plaque bearing the motto.

The organization's founder, U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, says the motto will help Americans "recognize that there are priorities bigger than ourselves."

Sussex County Government

Sussex County has been reminded that it should not provide grants to religious groups.

The Wisconsin based group Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter pointing out that the County Council gave a $25-hundred grant to Greenwood’s Grace-N-Mercy Ministries for a summer camp in late June.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that this is the second time this year that the group has issued a warning to the county council that such grants are unconstitutional.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A civil jury in federal court has awarded a Muslim cab driver who says a passenger berated and attacked him $350,000 in damages.

The jury in Alexandria on Monday found that Ed Dahlberg assaulted Mohamed Salim in 2013 and that Dahlberg's actions were motivated by animosity toward the cabbie's religion.

Salim says he was punched by Dahlberg after Dahlberg spewed a stream of epithets at Salim because of his religion. Salim recorded parts of the encounter on his phone.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A state lawsuit against elders of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation has prompted a judge to question the constitutionality of a Delaware law mandating the reporting of suspected child abuse.

The attorney general's office is suing elders of the Sussex County congregation for not reporting an unlawful sexual relationship between a woman and a 14-year-old boy, both of whom were congregation members.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is issuing statewide guidelines to prevent discriminatory profiling by law enforcement based on race, gender and other characteristics.

Frosh has scheduled a Tuesday news conference about the initiative. He says the guidelines are similar to ones issued in December by the U.S. Justice Department, which called on states to adopt their own. Frosh says Maryland is the first state to issue its own guidance.

He says it goes further than current Maryland law, but departments would have to adopt the policies.

The Sikh community in Delaware will be honoring those who died in an attack on a temple in Wisconsin three years ago leaving six dead and four wounded.

The 40 year old gunman was a neo-Nazi who may have believed he was killing Muslims.

But they were members of the Sikh community which is the 5th largest religion in the world.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that on August 15th the Sikh community will gather at a new temple near the Summit Airport as part of a day of community service and outreach.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Some freedom-from-religion advocates are pressing Maryland and six other states to remove provisions from their state constitutions prohibiting people who don't believe in God from holding public office.

The Openly Secular coalition, based in Columbus, Ohio, says the other states are Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. The New York Times first reported on the campaign.

The Supreme Court struck down such restrictions in 1961.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The plaintiffs in a public prayer dispute are dropping their request for a federal judge in Baltimore to reinstate his order barring the Carroll County Commissioners from opening their meetings with invocations mentioning Jesus Christ.

Lawyers for the Washington-based American Humanist Association said in a filing recorded Monday that they withdrew the motion to save court time. They say they plan to file a motion for summary judgment, asking the judge to decide the matter without a full-blown trial.

As the nation marks the birthday of Martin Luther King Junior, Delmarva Public Radio Essayist Goerge Merrill considers that this civil rights leader may have saved the soul of a nation.