Petition to stop Bob Marshall’s Jim Crow-era LGBTQ bill hits 86K signatures
With less than 24 hours till the 2015 Virginia General Assembly opens, activists and citizens from around the world are uniting against a bill which would make discrimination against LGBTQ folks legal in the Commonwealth.
“Virginia’s proposed anti-gay law could mean that denying service to lesbian, gay, and bi people is perfectly legal. Doctors, teachers, and so many others could refuse to treat and teach people just because of who they love,” reads the petition’s message to House members. “Please vote ‘no’ on this bill. Throw it out to send a strong message that your state stands up for equality.”
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 86K 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.”
Marshall’s long history bulking the trend of LGBTQ equality is easy to track. He tried to allow the House to acquire lawyers to defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban after AG Mark Herring refused to do so. He failed to have Herring impeached for not fighting the ban.
Last General Assembly, Marshall proposed laws which would deny tax benefits to same-sex couples. He also claimed being gay will remove 20 years off your life.
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