Last of Del. Marshall’s anti-LGBTQ bills dies in House committee
The House General Laws committee erupted in cheers earlier this week as Del. Bob Marshall’s bill that aimed to stop school boards from protecting LGBTQ teachers and students was killed after a close vote..
HB385 was Marshall’s second and last anti LGBTQ bill to be killed this session. HB77, which aimed to ignore all federal protections passed into law after 2012, including protections for LGBTQ Virginians, died in subcommittee last week.
In defense of his bill, Marshall (top image) cited that Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, meaning that local authorities can not grant themselves power which have not been given to them in the state assembly – he argued Fairfax County School board and others had added protections for LGBTQ students and teachers in defiance of Virginia Legislators who continue to kill bills adding protections for these classes.
“This [bill HB 385] is basically a reinforcement of the Dillon Rule implemented by John Dillon, an Iowa Supreme Court Justice, in 1870 which talked about the powers allowed to local governments,” Marshall said. “If that local government has a question of authority, that local government does not receive the benefit of the doubt.”
Last March, Attorney General Mark Herring issued a statement saying “schools boards’ supervisory power necessarily includes derivative powers to regulate “the safety and welfare of students, “to supervise personnel,” and to apply “local policies, rules, and regulations adopted for the day-to-day management of a teaching staff.”
This resulted in Fairfax County adding protective policies which resulted in Bob Marshall proposing this bill since technically it was the AG and not the General Assembly that made the statement; a convenient loophole for Virginia’s most notoriously anti-LGBTQ elected official.
Following Marshall’s speech defending his piece of legislation, Claire Gastañaga of the ACLU spoke against Marshall’s claim.
“As a Title VII employers and a recipient of funds under Title IX and officers who have taken federal oaths to follow the law of the federal constitution of the united states, [school boards] have inherent authority to act and protect their employees and the students from unconstitutional discrimination,” she said. “To prevent them from doing this is a novelty.”
“I would ask you to not vote in favor of this bill because the message it sends is one you wouldn’t want to send,” Gastañaga stressed.
Supporting Gastañaga’s opinion, Executive Director of Equality Virginia, James Parrish, said the new protective policies had given protections to 26% of Virginia’s teachers and students.
“If you vote for the bill and it ends up passing you are rolling back protections from a quarter of state employees,” she aid.
Before the vote, delegates on the committee voiced concerns over the bill’s Dillon rule assertions.
“If your bill is just the Dillon rule, how can you make a law that is already a law?” said Del. Albo.
Albo pointed out that Marshall singled out cases of discriminations as opposed to “every other thing a local government might try to do,” which might lead localities into thinking their only way to violate the Dillon rule would be to add protections.
“I don’t follow or stalk Mr. Herring 24/7, but his action here really violated this rule of construction… I’m trying to address the problem we see in front of us,” Marshall rebutted. “I don’t see these other problems, if they’re there either myself or the chairmen of courts would put in a bill to do the same thing.”
Despite Marshall’s protests, the committee then voted with a result of 12 to 10, killing the bill.
In a legal brief submitted Friday, the Trump Administration has withdrawn the federal government’s opposition for a lawsuit hoping to block transgender students from using the restroom aligned with their gender identity. The case deals with a challenge to federal guidelines passed down by the Department of Education which urged schools to be inclusive and [...]February 11, 2017
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