Around the South for Apr. 1: VA, MS & AL

Virginia: McAuliffe vetoes religious freedom bill. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has vetoed legislation that would have prohibited state agencies from taking action against merchants or others who discriminate against same-sex couples on religious grounds, reports the Washington Post. McAuliffe followed in the footsteps of Gov. Nathan Deal (R-GA), who vetoed similar legislation, but not those of Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC), who signed it …….

Mississippi: Bryant in Afghanistan. “Being in the Blackhawk (helicopter) when the flares went off – you’re not used to seeing things blowing up outside the window,” Gov. Phil Bryant (R) told the Clarion-Ledger after his trip to Afghanistan, which he described as “one of the most phenomenal experiences of my life.” He added, “I looked back and waved as we left the Blackhawk that night to get on the Air Force plane, and looking back and seeing a young man from Carthage, Mississippi. And that sticks with you.” …….

Alabama: Bentley aide resigns. Rebekah Caldwell Mason, a top political aide to Gov. Robert Bentley (R), resigned Wednesday in the wake of revelations that the governor had sent her “inappropriate” emails. Bentley denied the two had an affair. Nevertheless, state Rep. Ed Henry (R) said he will begin impeachment proceedings against the governor …….