From the Washington Times:


RICHMOND — Virginia’s Senate has passed a bill that would write into law executive orders by the past two governors that ban bias in the state work force based on sexual orientation.

Sen. Don McEachin’s bill advanced from the Democratic-controlled Senate on a nearly party line vote of 23-17. One Republican, Sen. Fred Quayle, joined the Democratic majority.

Democratic Govs. Tim Kaine and his predecessor, Mark Warner, issued executive orders during their tenure banning discrimination in state government hiring and workplace protection.

Republican Gov. Robert F. McDonnell has not reissued such an order but says Mr. Kaine’s is still in effect while he studies whether such orders are legal.

The measure faces a tougher fight in the Republican-dominated House.

Now wait a minute.  Are we to understand that Democrats are opposed to discrimination and Republicans are in favor of discrimination?   When is discrimination ever acceptable?  In what ways does the State discriminate against gays when the ban isn’t in effect?  How can Virginians have this kind of vacillation based on who is governor?  I am embarrassed for my own state unless this issue is corrected.

78 Thoughts to “Ending Codified Discrimination in Virginia Once and for All”

  1. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Witness Too :
    I have an aunt who remarried after my uncle died. She was in her late 60’s and was no longer able to have children. Should the government had stepped in and made her prove her fertility?
    I don’t know why I bother. We are talking about equality, same as we were in the 50’s and 60’s, only now we are progressing futher, perhaps beyond your comfort level and that’s okay.
    But stop using sophomoric logic to justify prejudice. You either stand by your prejudices or you don’t. No hiding behind childish squeals over shower stalls and holding and rubbing. Just admit you’re backward like that and we can agree to disagree.

    Paragraph 1: I had an uncle who had a strange proclivity for llamas….and blah, blah, blah….nobody cares.

    Paragraph 2: Damn Dirty Hippie.

    Paragraph 3: I admit you’re backward “like that”.

    Overall Grade for you: D+

    Better luck next time!

  2. Witness Too

    Slowpoke, you think you’re doing well to make yourself out to be a man-child incapable of logic, but it only serves to prove my point. There is no justification for bigotry, no matter how foolish or crass you make yourself out to be. You may go to your grave wishing that the Civil Rights Era had never come, and you may regret even more that you lived to see equality extend to women and to people of different sexual orientations. But it will happen whether you like it or not.

    When the day comes, you could always move to Uganda.

  3. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    @Witness Too
    You’re a hoot, W2, you call me incapable of logic right after asking me if the government should “get involved” in some situation after I made it clear I don’t think the government should be involved, my original argument. Jesus, I hope you don’t do this “I’m smarter than you” crap for a living!

  4. Emma

    Witness, I have a gay child whom I love with all of my being, and I fully support gays serving openly in the military, getting married, whatever us heteros get to do.

    Yet I still think Slowpoke is funny.

  5. Wolverine

    Legalization of gay marriage? O.K. What’s next? The 1862 Anti-Bigamy Act and its supplemental Edmunds Law and Edmunds-Tucker Law, all sanctioned as constitutional by the Supreme Court in 1890? Polygyny exists in many parts of our contemporary world. Can current American empathy for out of the box marriage arrangements not be extended to that change as well? The ghost of Brigham Young would like to know. So would the ghosts of all those Mormon families which were prosecuted, persecuted, and chased further into the Western wilderness by Federal agents in the 1860-1890 period.

  6. Emma

    Why is it so hard to understand homosexuality? People seem to just be wired that way–it just takes some a little longer to figure out that they are gay than others. Hardly the same as polygamy. I think it’s easy to legislate benefits for one partner per person. Families provide stability for children. I’m not going to be the arbiter of what the gender of those families have to be.

  7. H/T to Emma. Many parents are in denial or reject their children. Don’t you think it takes longer because 1. Everyone else, or so it seems, is straight 2. Society is often very cruel to gays. Why would anyone CHOOSE to be gay.

    If the state only involves itself in civil union, then that takes care of gay marriage. Churches can handle their own situations whether gay or straight.

    I believe that the Supreme Court will eventually decide the gay marriage issue on the basis of civil rights. How can we deny one group a right that the majority enjoys.

    As far as polygamy goes, polygamy really isn’t illegal the way it is practiced now. (in America). The first wife is the legal marriage and all others are celestial marriages. There is nothing illegal about it. The legal difficulties come from the fact that some of the girls are underage and also the mainstream LDS church forbids plural marriage.

  8. Emma

    Exactly! Keep the minors out of it, and keep the government out of the bedroom. And Big Love is still one of the best dramas on TV!

  9. Witness Too

    I’m with you on this one Emma. Marriage should be a right for all Americans and government should stay out of our reproductive systems. I guess Slowpoke is on board for gay marriage too? I wasn’t sure how to read him. He doesn’t want the government checking the fertility of all Americans before we are allowed to marry? Thank goodness.

    I guess I misread his quote about two men not being able to procreate and therefore the government must bar them from marriage. Was he simply making fun of hysterical homophobes by trying to sound like one? How sly. Sorry that I missed that. He did such a good job, I was convinced he actually WAS a hysterical homophobe. That’s why I asked him about whether heterosexual couples who are unable to procreate should also be barred by the government by marriage based on fertility tests. He seemed to be going along with his “side” of the argument and he had me believing it.

    It’s good to know we can find common ground on some issues, while disagreeing on others.

  10. Witness Too

    I meant to decry the idea of infertile Americans and older Americans being “barred by the government FROM marriage based on fertility tests.”

  11. Witness Too

    Wolverine, are you old enough to have made the same argument against the legalization of interracial marriage in the 60’s? If not, there were those who did, shamefully.

  12. Wolverine

    Moon. as I recall it, the LDS eventually forbid plural marriages because Congress would not allow Utah Territory to became a state unless the church took that step. It was a forced political decision, not one necessarily taken because of a change in religious beliefs. An additional factor was that polygynous Mormon families were trying to escape Federal persecution by fleeing Utah for the still sparsely settled wildernesses of Nevada and Arizona. They suffered greatly in so doing. Since Mrs. Wolverine’s great-great-grandparents came to America in 1850 on a Mormon immigrant ship from England, I could tell you some interesting stories about LDS polygyny in the 19th century, including a great one on why Mrs. Wolverine wound up being a Roman Catholic.

    The limited polygyny you see now in this country reflects, in my opinion, an effort to skate below the law of the land resulting from those legal decisions in the 19th century and the acquiesence of the LDS to Federal demands. Such polygyny also puts you technically outside the graces of the LDS. But the polygyny to which I referred in the previous post was the type of arrangement sanctioned by the LDS after Brigham Young accepted in 1852 the often hotly disputed “revelations” of martyred LDS founder Joseph Smith on the subject. In effect, the Federal laws deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court denied to members of the LDS the right to marriage arrangements at variance with those acceptable to the majority of the population. May I quote you? “How can we deny one group a right that the majority enjoys?” Did we not do that with regard to the LDS? So, if we legally sanction gay marriage, are we not affording to one minority rights which we have long denied to another? Can that variance between the rights allowed to different minorities be sustained? I am just curious from a legalistic standpoint. After all, once you open the door….our constitutional governance can certainly pose some puzzles to be solved.

    Actually, this is the kind of question I would like to pose directly to gays who seek official sanction of gay marriage. If you are afforded that right under constitutional law, are you willing to support giving the same rights to those who desire other forms of marriage outside the mainstream of society?

    Don’t get the idea here that I support polygyny. Mrs. Wolverine would have me skinned and my pelt hung up on the wall. The great-great-grandmother I mentioned only found about Brigham Young’s pronouncement on polygyny during a layover in St. Louis while awaiting transportation up to the Mormon Trail. Her reaction? “I will never, ever share my man with another woman!!” I think she took great-great-grandpop by the ear and hauled him off the steamboat. They never made it to Utah.

  13. Wolverine

    Apples and oranges, Witness Too. Short answers. Am I old enough to remember? Yes. Did I support an inter-racial prohibition? Absolutely not. The difference? A denial of rights based on ethnicity vs a dispute over a socio-cultural practice historically common to all ethnicities in this country. I do not particularly cotton to the idea of gay marriage for my own personal reasons but I do cotton to the constitutional authority of the courts to interpret our governing document and its lawful amendments. If the final legal judgement is in favor of gay marriage, I have to accept that as a legal fact of life. If, however, the decision of the court comes out against gay marriage, will you accept it?

  14. Your understanding is pretty much as mine is, Wolverine. Condemning plural marriage was a condition for statehood, as I understand it. There was a most excellent program of several nights duration on the Mormons on PBS. It might have been the American Experience. It had all sorts of facts I didn’t know before I watched it.

    I believe the religious conviction followed the agreement. However, most modern Mormons that I know very much condemn the practice of plural marriage. I suppose they walk a tight rope on the issue. So many of them have ancestors that were part of the plural marriage system yet they themselves and the church oppose it.

    Me? I don’t care if they have legal marriages or not as long as there is a system so it doesn’t cost the rest of us a fortune. I think the difference in that and gay marriage becoming legal is that was then and this is now. FLDS churches are not having marriage forbidden to them, just plural marriage. Saying everyone can have 1 of anything is a little different from saying some people can have more than one.

  15. And good for Mrs. Wolverine. Pelt on the wall….sort of like pants on the ground, eh?

  16. Emma

    I think these issues are also a question of being versus doing. You don’t choose to be gay, you don’t act gay; you are gay. The offensive examples that John Doe cites in comment #11 are illegal actions (“doing”) that do not involve consenting adults, and by all rights should be illegal. I don’t see floodgates opening at all.

    In term of polygamy, I think that as long as the government is going to be in the marriage business, it’s reasonable to legislate one-per-customer when it comes to tax benefits and anything else that actually imposes a financial cost on society, in the same way that some companies are starting to offer domestic-partner benefits to a single partner regardless of gender. There should be a limit as to what taxpayers are reasonably expected to financially support, without getting into the moralities of the bedroom.

  17. Witness Too

    Thanks for that Wolverine. It’s amazing how much consensus there is, not only on this blog, but around the country for marriage equality.

    I never asked myself whether I accept Supreme Court decisions, or have the right to not accept them. I’d be really surprised if, even this court could justify denying equal justice to some Americans based on the fading discomfort of other Americans.

  18. Very good point about being vs doing. I agree.

    I hope we stick to one per customer on the marriage thing simply because of the financial aspect. Right now, the FLDS can do pretty much what they want to do as consenting adults, as odious as some of it is. I cannot imagine why anyone wants more than one wife. I would stir up all sorts of trouble. Nicki would have nothing on me!

    I am still snickering over Mrs. Wolverine doing the pelt on the wall thing. I needed a good laugh.

  19. Witness Too

    It is interesting to see people who had opposed marriage equality graduate, from taking positions against it based on unrelated and discredited arguments, to simply muttering said arguments to themselves as they join the march to equality.

    In a word, that’s progress.

  20. kelly3406

    I agree with Slow that the government should stay out of the definition of marriage. I am okay with government involvement in civil unions (including gays), but marriage is really a religious issue. For those that harp on the separation of church and state, this is another clear case of the government overstepping its bounds.

    The statement above that homosexuality is a state of ‘being versus doing’ is also subject to debate. Studies are conflicted on the issue. We see people who have been straight their entire lives and then decide that they are gay, and vice versa. Didn’t Anne Heche, the former girlfriend of Ellen Degeneres, decide that she was actually straight?

  21. Emma

    @kelly3406 Anne Heche is a poor example, living in the protective bubble of Hollywood where sexual experimentation and peccadillos are more the norm than not. Hardly the same as a suburban child who is driven to suicide because of his or her struggles and fears over sexual identity and the rejection by peers and family.

  22. I figure people get to say what they are. Several people I know didn’t come to the realization that they were gay until adulthood. They told me there was a lot of repression involved.

    As for seperation of church and state, if the state is involved in civil unions, I don’t see that as having anything to do with church. I see it as pure contract.

  23. Hell-boy

    “Are we to understand that Democrats are opposed to discrimination and Republicans are in favor of discrimination?”

    By that same logic are we to understand that Democrats just want to kill poor innocent babies and Republicans just want to save them?

    Where liberal/progressive propaganda exists… Hell-boy will be there, to give ’em HELLLLLL!!!

  24. Read the article. The scales will fall from your eyes.

  25. Hell-boy

    scales? Hell-boy knows of no such things, only truth, Moon-fowler of everything just…. Hell-boy AWAYyyy.yyy….yyy……yyyyy….

  26. Hell-boy

    sorry, everything un-just…. Hell-boy AWAYyyy…yyy…yyyyy…..yyyyyyyy…..

  27. michael

    Back to the topic…I believe we will not ever end discrimmination by gender, religion, race or ethnicity, until we also end the polictical, social and legal advantage of preference, and privilege and advantage to create wealth based on what gender or ethnicity you are…instead of how smart and how capable you are to create your own wealth using only your own talents and abilities…

    If we can’t do this it will become a gender and ethnic war over right to wealth by personal attributes…

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