"A lawmaker's questions about a Virginia school-attendance law were quickly squelched in the General Assembly Thursday: Del. Thomas Rust's resolution suggesting a study of the law that allows families to opt out of public education for religious reasons was killed in a House subcommittee by a 3 to 1 vote.
" RICHMOND -- The Virginia Senate has passed legislation designed to protect the rights of public school students to voluntarily pray and participate in religious activities on school grounds, despite objections from lawmakers who said the proposal would invite lawsuits.
"A bill that would encourage Virginia students to explore controversial scientific topics was referred Thursday to a House committee for Courts and Justice, where any constitutional concerns can be analyzed.
"The Supreme Court made it clear decades ago that our public schools aren’t meant to be places for spreading religion. But for legislators in three states, court rulings are no deterrent to their dogmatic agendas.
Lawmakers in South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee are debating bills that are designed, supporters say, to “put prayer back in schools.” The tactics vary, but in each case the desired outcome is the same: a potentially unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state. And the legislators behind the bills aren’t shy about their motivations.
" Decision by U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen ruling that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. "