Live coverage of House LGBTQ bill hearing
UPDATE 2 – 3:15 :
We are still trying to figure out what’s going on, but so far every pro-LGBTQ bill has been sent to the code commission which has nothing to do with the issues the bills address.
Anti-LGBTQ bills have also been sent to the code commission, but a bill dealing with transgender bathroom use for students was heard and sent to committee.
A memo exists which might have a full list of these bills, we’re working to get that memo.
A Virginia House General Laws subcommittee is starting here shortly and there’s a mess of pro and anti LGBTQ bills on the docket.
We’ll be doing out best to provide liver coverage as events happen – we’ll be dividing up coverage for each bill, listed below.
HB 77 (Marshall): Allows for discrimination in violation with federal policy
Marshall’s HB 77 aims to block federal protections added after 2012 which include, according to Blue Virginia, discrimination against an individual because that person is transgender, and an Obama executive order which required federal contractors to have policies banning discrimination against sexual orientation or gender identity in their work place.
“Bob Marshall clearly doesn’t understand the way the law works,” said Virginia ACLU Executive Director Clair Gastanaga in an email about HB 77. “He might not like the way federal civil rights laws are being interpreted by the [Equal Employment Commission], the Department of Justice and the courts, but rewriting the state code is a futile attempt to hold back equality and should be rejected.”
HB 385 (Marshall): Removes discrimination protections covering more than 1/4 of gay and transgender public school employees
HB 397 (LaRock): Contradicts federal policy and narrowly defines sex and gender to exclude transgender people from any protections against
HB 385, titled “Discrimination; ordinances or regulations prohibiting,” hopes to amend the state’s code to deny any political subdivision, including a locality or school board to “enact an ordinance or adopt a rule or regulation prohibiting discrimination in any field on any basis not listed in” the state’s Human Rights and Ordinances list.
The HRO list currently includes race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, age, marital status, or disability, and notably not sexual orientation or gender identity.
A second bill, HB 397, sponsored by Delegate Dave A. LaRock (R – 33), similarly aims to block school districts from adding protections for LGBTQ students and teachers by ALLOWING them to provide protections only to the classes listed in the current HRO.
LaRock’s bill goes a bit further, attempting to define gender and sex as “the basis of the biologic character or quality that distinguishes an individual as either male or female as determined by analysis of the individual’s gonadal, internal and external morphologic, chromosomal, and hormonal characteristics” and “no such policy shall consider the mere separation of individuals by sex to be discrimination.”
HB 663 (LAID ON THE TABLE), (Cole): Stigmatizes transgender youth and forces them to use incorrect public accommodations
HB 663, HB 781 Use of restroom facilities; penalty, aims to requires the Director of the Department of General Services and all state school boards to implement policies for every “public building on property that is owned, leased, or controlled by the Commonwealth and every public school restroom, locker room, and shower room that is designated for use by a specific gender” to be used solely by those whose “anatomical sex matches such gender designation.”
If anyone, including students, violates this policy, they will be charged a $50 civil penalty. That money will go toward the state’s literary fund. Tickets will be issued by police officers.
The bill gives some room to transgender people – upon request they could use “a single stall restroom or shower, a unisex bathroom, or controlled individual use of a restroom, locker room, or shower,” meaning a transgender person would have to ask to use the bathroom at the DMV, forcing them to out themselves. Similarly, a student would have to ask school officials for a separate but equal restroom.
HB 773 (Gilbert): Provides a license to discriminate against gay and lesbian families
PASSED FOR THE DAY – Will be heard at future hearing
Del. Gilbert’s bill will be heard at the next General Laws subcommittee #4 hearing set for Tuesday afternoon.
HB 773, the Government Nondiscrimination Act, aims to “prohibits a government entity from taking any discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes, speaks, or acts in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.”
The bill goes on to define man and woman as an “individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics of the individual at the time of birth.”
It would also not allow the state to deny any service, such as grants, contracts, licenses, or otherwise to a business or organization which refuses to serve LGBTQ people.
Del. Gilbert defended his bill at a press conference earlier this session. The Del. has his own history with non-discrimination laws at the General Assembly. In 2013 he was the chair of the committee which killed a bill which would have protected LGBT state employees.
When asked if there were any examples of discrimination against religious people or groups in Virginia which would require this bill he failed to provide an example.
“Look around the country and there are many examples of government acting in such a way that their trying to force a belief system on people of faith or otherwise punish them for their faith,” Gilbert said. “We don’t have such an infrastructure here in Virginia, thankfully cause of the work of that committee [killing LGBTQ protections for state employees], trying to establish hate same type of human rights commissions that are now trying to punish them…. running them out of business, running them out of the public square…. we’re being proactive here.”
HB 179 (Kory), HB 429 (Villanueva): Prohibits discrimination in employment -
Currently you can be fired or denied a job because of who you love or what gender you identify with. Kory’s bill would add sexual orientation and
HB 179 laid on table, referred to code commission
A Code Commission hold can silence groups from telling their stories in front of lawmakers.July 13, 2016
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