Richmond Times Dispatch:
After the historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly are preparing to push back in what they call a culture war aimed at destroying religious freedoms.
Del. C. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, said protections of religious liberties are going to be the primary focus for House Republicans in the 2016 General Assembly session, which begins in January.
“My concern is that the ultimate goal of the far left is not to secure rights for gay individuals but to tear down religious institutions and the belief systems that support them,” Gilbert said this week.
Asserting that this is the “next frontier for the far left,” Gilbert said he believes it is “more important than ever that we ensure that people’s deeply held convictions” are protected.
“If we are truly going to live in a world where everyone is afforded their rights to live their lives precisely as they please, then surely that has to include people of faith as well,” he said.
While GOP leaders in both houses of the legislature have acknowledged they will abide by the high court ruling that made same-sex marriage the law of the land, House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, said the most pressing concern now is protecting religious liberty.
“We will need to carefully evaluate how this ruling will be applied and make sure we take steps to protect faith leaders, churches, nonprofits and individuals,” Howell said in an email. “The House of Delegates will fight vigilantly to protect religious freedom.”
Gilbert was tapped to take the lead in reviewing current law and what other states are doing to determine what actions Republicans may take during the 2016 session.
I get it that some people feel gay marriage is wrong. That’s OK. They can have their beliefs. The question isn’t what they believe, it’s how they behave. Gilbert and Lingamfelter apparently want to legalize discrimination. How well I recall Del. Lingamfelter pontificating in front of the General Assembly against a Richmond prosecutor being appointed a general district court judge because he was gay. Actually, the delegate used every reason in the world other than he was gay. His message was still very transparent.
Someone please help me understand how religious rights have been violated or will be violated. Gilbert and Lingamfelter are both known for extreme right positions that border on the ridiculous. Unless Virginians are going to be lined up and forced to marry someone of the same sex, there are no violations. People are still entitled to believe what they want to believe. No one is suggesting that a “thought police” be formed.
Virginians need to send a strong message to Lingamfelter and Gilbert that Virginians do not discriminate. Since Virginia is for Lovers, that should include its elected representatives. Both legislators need to understand that people don’t choose who they love. They need to SDASTFU. Maybe they need to get busy and work out some Medicaid legislation. That issue is far more pressing for Virginians than who someone else marries. It isn’t hurting them.
I guess this is the only way either man can appeal to his base. How pathetic.