Thursday, February 14, 2013

In Vriginia

Victoria Cobb, President
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Victory Alert: House Subcommittee Defeats Bill

Late this afternoon a House General Laws subcommittee defeated legislation that would have elevated sexual behavior to a protected class in the state’s hiring laws.  The subcommittee voted down the measure by a vote of 5-1.
Senate Donald McEachin (D-9, Richmond) has carried similar legislation for several years.  Several people testified in favor of the measure, some from Virginia’s universities like VCU and William and Mary.  All claimed a “climate of fear” believing that they can be fired for their sexual behavior, but no one, again this year, could present a single case of anyone who has actually been discriminated against.  Statistics from the state show that there have been no confirmed cases of discrimination based on sexual behavior or “orientation.”    
That point was made by Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15, Woodstock), a member of the subcommittee, who stated that he’s been on the sub for several years, has asked proponents to present actual evidence of discrimination, but none has been presented.  He made the motion to defeat the bill. 
Proponents also argued that Virginia is “losing talent” because we haven’t elevated sexual behavior to a protected class, but Virginia is annually recognized as one of the best managed states in the nation and a state with an exceptional business climate.  Unfortunately, if people have a fear of being discriminated against, it comes from the rhetoric and fear-mongering of proponents of this legislation, and not from actual discrimination.
Should sexual behavior be elevated to protected status, the next steps will no doubt be to discriminate against faith-based organizations that partner with the state on assisting the needy, providing adoption services, and a host of other ministries, simply because they may have a viewpoint of human sexuality that runs counter to proponents of this measure.  The intended consequences to religious liberty of passing this bill are frightening.
Others on the subcommittee who voted to defeat the bill were Delegates Chris Peace (R-97, Hanover), Barry Knight (R-81, Virginia Beach), John Cox (R-55, Ashland) and Peter Farrell (R-56, Richmond).


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