House Sub-Committee Defeats “Discrimination” Bill


February 13, 2013

Late yesterday a House General Laws sub-committee defeated legislation (SB 701) that would have elevated sexual behavior to a protected class in the state’s hiring laws. The sub-committee voted down the measure by a vote of 5-1.

The patron, Senator Donald McEachin (D-9, Richmond), has carried similar legislation for many years. Several people testified in favor of the measure, some from Virginia’s universities, such as 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 long-time member of the sub-committee. He stated that he has asked proponents to present actual evidence of discrimination, but no one has presented any such evidence, nor did they this year. 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. However, Virginia annually is 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 no doubt will 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. We hear a lot of contrivance around hear about the unleashed horrors of “unintended consequences” certain bills may allow. But the intended consequences of this bill to religious liberty, if ever passed, are frightening.

Others on the sub-committee 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, Henrico).

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8 Responses to “House Sub-Committee Defeats “Discrimination” Bill”

  1. David Jackson says:

    Here is an opposing viewpoint from someone who agrees with Family Foundation on certain things but detests it when you deliberately and knowingly misrepresent an issue.

    This bill does not prohibit employment discrimination based on “sexual behavior”. Employers generally do not know what sexual behavior an employee is engaging in, if any. Most employers don’t even want to think about it. In any case, sexual behavior is not the same thing as sexual orientation. Ask any celibate priest, or any other person physically restricted from sexual behavior, or anyone in a sexless heterosexual marriage, of which there are more than enough to go around, according to statistics.

    Under your (I think knowingly) false suggestion that sexual behavior is the same thing as sexual orientation, a purely hypothetical unmarried celibate Catholic lobbyist for the Family Foundation would have no sexual orientation at all. See how silly that sounds?

    Having observed how much relish some elected representatives, particularly Marshall, exhibited in discriminating against Tracy Thorn-Begland related to his state judicial nomination last year, Todd Gilbert’s assertion that such discrimination doesn’t exist is laughable. The whole country saw it happen. It can’t go back under the rug.

    Here’s another case from 2009, Martinsville Circuit, of a state employee who claimed discrimination in being fired from the Virginia Museum of Natural History due to his sexual orientation. The court, like you, decided he couldn’t argue his dismissal because no law protected him. So no day in court for him! He doesn’t get to be heard. The continuing pretense you put forward that there is no real or perceived discrimination is misinformed at best, and a deliberate falsehood at worst.

    Lastly, the idea that public polcy laws should be complaint driven is a position you don’t even really support. If you did, you wouldn’t have supported the controversial ultrasound law last year. There was no groundswell of public complaints from patients claiming they were denied ultrasounds prior to abortions. A groundswell of public complaints is apparently only needed when you don’t agree with something.

  2. David Jackson says:

    Case # referenced is: CL09000035-00

  3. edward says:

    WHY isn’t Family Foundation opposing SB 969:

    Lewd and lascivious cohabitation; eliminates crime. (SB969)

    Obviously, lewd and lascivious cohabitation can result in unwanted pregnancies that can result in abortions.

    So, WHY isn’t Family Foundation opposing SB 969.

    Moreover, WHY isn’t Family Foundation seeking enhancement of penalties for adultery, which is a criminal offense under Virginia Law?

    Obviously, adultery can result in stressed and failed marriages that can result in a abortions.

    So, WHY isn’t Family Foundation seeking enhanced penalties – and funds for Commonwealth Attorneys to aggressively prosecute – adultery?



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