EV drops 6,000 VA signatures against Del. Marshall’s ‘Jim Crow-era’ LGBTQ discrimination bill
Equality Virginia, working with AllOut.org, collected over 130,000 signatures opposing a Virginia Delegates bill hoping to legalize anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
EV members, as well as a number of advocates, gathered in front of the General Assembly in downtown Richmond, VA, this morning to present 6,000 of the petition’s signatures from Virginia residents.
The signatures were delivered to Del. Todd Gilbert (R-15), head of the committee which will first hear Marshall’s bill.
“This piece of legislation is extremist, hateful, and discriminatory,” said James Parrish, executive director with Equality Virginia, in a press released before presenting the signatures. “Businesses and service agencies that are open to the public should be open to everybody on the same terms, including to LGBT customers and clients.”
The bill in question, HB1414, authored by Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas), states a person would not be required to “perform, assist, consent to, or participate in any action” as a condition of “obtaining or renewing a government-issued license, registration, or certificate” if such actions would “violate the religious or moral convictions of such person.”
Marshall goes on to clarify the bill by specifying those religious convictions with “respect to same-sex marriage or homosexual behavior.”
Del. Marshall, author of VA’s ban on same-sex marriage and a vocal opponent 0f LGBTQ issues, submitted the bill for the upcoming General Assembly session earlier this year.
While Marshall did not return requests for comment by GayRVA, VA ACLU Executive Director Claire Guthrie Gastañaga described the bill as “Jim Crow” laws for LGBTQ Virginians.
“It’s licensing it [discrimination], authorizing it, and saying it’s okay,” said Gastañaga. “It’s like Jim Crow. It’s like a state law that says it’s okay to discriminate against black people and have two different kinds of water fountains.”
The petition, which has over 130K signatures by press time, was started on AllOut.org, an international, online LGBTQ equality advocacy group which aims to By mobilize “millions of people around the world in partnership with grassroots leaders, [and] hopes to achieve in 10 years what may have taken 50.”
“This is discrimination, plain and simple. 134,000 All Out members in the state and around the world have spoken out to make sure the Committee takes urgent action to protect the state from this horrific law,” said Andre Banks, Executive Director of All Out. “Anti-gay laws have no place in the world and certainly not in Virginia.”
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