RVA based Christian group on the offensive as bills protecting LGBTQ’s enter Senate
Two bills supporting Virginia’s LGBTQ population have made it through the first steps of the legislative process, and the Richmond-based Christian group, the Family Foundation, is none too pleased about it.
SB 785, a bill which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes in public employment, was said to have “very real consequences” and would “pave the way for similar legislation affecting private businesses and faith-based entities. ”
The Family Foundation said it was the first step in “requiring private businesses and faith-based ministries that receive state funding to hire homosexuals or face discrimination by the state. ”
As for SB 1211, a law which updates the state code post-marriage recognition – changing definitions in the laws from gender specific terms like “mother” and “father” to parent, or “wife” or husband to “spouse – was condemned by the Christian group for changing the law before the Supreme Court has a chance to weigh in on later this year.
“Remarkably, the bill also says that “maternal” and “paternal” are interchangeable terms!” writes the FF. “The Supreme Court is hearing a case on state marriage amendments this spring, so this action is premature, but it also continues to advance the idea that how we are biologically created is somehow irrelevant, and that moms and dads are “interchangeable.”"
The Family Foundation has lead the fight against LGBTQ legislative progress for years, but they’re feelings have not gone unchallenged.
At a recent House hearing, a bill which would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected classes in Virginia’s hate crime laws was condemned by FF’s rep Steve Rossi. House Delegates didn’t understand where his opposition to the bill came from:
“You’re saying it’s already being done,” Rossi said, “so why do we need to codify it?”
Del. Alfonso Lopez, D-Arlington, questioned Rossi’s point of view, noting that state law already categorizes other types of hate crimes. He asked Rossi why the state shouldn’t include the LGBT community along with racial and ethnic hate crimes.
Rossi said his organizations considered all crimes to be hate crimes. He also said the bill would not change State Police procedures on reporting hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
But Lopez challenged Rossi’s statement again.
“But if this would help police forces actually track and catch perpetrators, you’re saying they shouldn’t do it? “ Lopez asked. “You’re saying we should take out racial and ethnic because it’s one big thing?”
“No, I didn’t say that,” Rossi said. “Did you hear me say that? No, I didn’t say that.”
Both Senate bills are set to be heard in the coming weeks of the General Assembly, GayRVA will keep you updated as the information comes in.
Top image via Family Foundation Facebook
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