RICHMOND — A House panel on Thursday advanced a bill that would allow any individual, business or organization to discriminate against someone for having sex outside of marriage.
The bill says state agencies cannot punish discrimination against anyone who is in a same-sex marriage, is transgender or has sex outside of wedlock.
The legislation advanced 13 to 7 along party lines in the GOP-controlled committee, except for Del. Joseph R. Yost (R-Giles), who voted no. The provision about sex outside of marriage was added to the bill minutes before lawmakers voted.
It is headed for likely passage by the full House next week; Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has said he would veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
Supporters — including the bill’s sponsor, Del. C. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) — say the measure anticipates that people with religious convictions could be punished for those beliefs as acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals becomes the norm across the United States. Donors to nonprofit organizations such as Catholic Charities worry that their contributions may no longer be tax deductible or that a religious charity could lose a government grant, Gilbert said.
Virginia’s legislation was filed by Gilbert, the House deputy majority leader, after Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) asked him to review what other states had done to protect what they call religious freedom.
It gets worse:
Gilbert said the bill is in keeping with “an age-old approach to public policy” in the tradition of Thomas Jefferson.
“I think people of faith feel the tide turning so strongly that all they’re looking for is some reasonable accommodation, because they view that there is this secular church, if you will, that’s trying to impose its belief system upon everybody else,” he said. “As in, ‘You agree with all this or else.’ ”
In the “tradition of Thomas Jefferson?” Should we all buy a slave and have sex with him or her? Good grief. I sure wouldn’t be dragging Jefferson into the mix. What secular church (oxymoron??) is trying to impose beliefs on other people? I see people who have different life styles just trying to exercise the same rights everyone else does. They want to live and let live.
Then there are the people who have had sex outside of marriage–do the Virginia Republicans not understand that this is the norm? Let’s take a poll at the General Assembly….(watch the legislators begin to scramble…)
What the hell is the matter with the Virginia Republican legislators? Are they sick or just paranoid? Who is going to punish them? Perhaps they should be “punished.” Discrimination is illegal. No one gives a rat’s ass what someone believes. Believe away and shut up about it. We care how you behave. You cannot discriminate against people because they don’t have sex the way you think they should.
The entire LGBT issue is one thing. It’s ugly and discrimination there invites lawsuits left and right. However, the little kicker in there about “sex outside of wedlock” is absurd and pretty much opens up the right to discrimination against 95% of the people in Virginia. The Virginia Republicans are trying to legalize discrimination. Make no mistake about it.
Just how do the Republicans plan on determining who has or hasn’t had sex outside of marriage? Are they going to install sex detectors in our homes? Are they going to attempt to fire people or break legal contracts? How is this legalized discrimination going to work? I want to know the means of detection.
Will I have to forfeit my VRS check because I have had sex outside of marriage? Will I be stoned to death? Is there a time frame here? Is there a statute of limitations?
How about people who aren’t married and never plan to marry.? Does that mean that they are forbidden to have sex unless they want to invite discrimination? What are Virginia Republicans thinking!
I am about as outraged over this bill as I have ever been over anything. Virginia Republicans need to mind their own …pardon the pun…effing business. I decide who, what, when, and where and no one else. I am old enough to sleep with whomever I want without permission from the state of Virginia.
If this bill passes the General Assembly, I will never vote Republican again, for any reason. Every freedom loving Virginian should find this interference in personal liberty to be totally unacceptable and wrong on so many levels.
When will some people learn that its OK to have beliefs for yourself. It’s not ok to impose those beliefs on everyone else. It certainly isn’t ok to discriminate against people who believe differently than you do. Why should we even be having this conversation in the year 2016?
Obviously Virginia is not for lovers. It’s not for lovers of liberty either. The Virginia Taliban has moved it and set up shop.
Further reading: Washington Post: Religious freedom or license to discriminate?