We were wrong… Del Bob Marshall actually has FOUR anti-LGBTQ bills this session
The 2017 Virginia Legislative season is interesting for any number of reason – among them is the 15 bill limit applied to legislators, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get creative and submit resolutions to build support for issues like Del. Bob Marshall has done.
Marshall, if you remember from last week, had a total of three anti-LGBTQ bills this session. But we missed one. He’s also got a House Resolution which doubles down on anti-LGBTQ sentiment and aims to call out Virginia’s progressive Attorney General Mark Herring.
Read more about the other three bills here, but check out details on number four below:
House Joint resolution 685 (HJ685), called “Speaker of the House; legal counsel” may seem innocuous, but buried at the bottom of the two page resolution is this wording:
WHEREAS, the Attorney General of Virginia, despite taking an Oath to defend the Constitution of Virginia, failed to defend the Constitution of Virginia, and even attacked the validity of the Constriction of Virginia, when a legal challenge was undertaken to redefine marriage in federal courts by members of the federal judiciary as against the sovereign People of Virginia who approved by Referendum a one-man, one-woman Marriage Amendment to the Virginia Constitution in 2006; and
WHEREAS, the General Assembly has a strong and independent interest and obligation in defending the constitutional sovereign rights and police powers of the Commonwealth;
now, therefore, be it RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That if any federal authority unconstitutionally violates the sovereign rights of the Commonwealth or its agencies or the Commonwealth’s local governments or their agencies, and the Attorney General of Virginia fails to take legal action against such violations, or if the Attorney General fails to defend the statutes of the Commonwealth or the Constitution of Virginia, the Speaker of the House hereby be authorized to employ legal counsel to represent the General Assembly in instituting legal action against the federal authority or the Attorney General
Marshall’s hope is to double down on his sanctioning of AG Mark Herring’s unwillingness to defend Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, the 2006 ban that Marshall authored and carried his name.
But because this is a House Joint Resolution, it’s actually pretty powerless. These HJ’s are used to make statements, not enact laws – they also don’t need the signature of the governor to reach their final destination. This is Marshall’s second newsworthy HJ, his first aimed to declare porn a public health hazard.
This isn’t the first time Marshall has gone after AG Herring for his LGBTQ-inclusive legal moves.
During last year’s GA session, Marshall tried to pass a bill hoping to undo the AG’s support for school districts adding LGBTQ protections under federal guidance from the Obama Administration. Past AG’s had been asked the same question and often said no, but in the wake of same-sex marriage being legalized in the context of the 14t Amendment, Herring changed the answer to yes.
That didn’t sit well with Marshall; but legislators, while acknowledging the school districts might be violating the Dillon Rule, noted his bill added nothing knew and was shut down in full committee by a 12-10 vote.
Back in May, 2014, Marshall tried to have Herring impeached over his refusal to defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban. Marshall’s plea was immediately rejected by Republican House Speaker Howell who said he “does not believe impeachment is an appropriate or practical recourse at the moment.”
We’ll keep our eye on this bill as we are with the rest of Marshall’s legislation, though so far he appears to be the only delegate to attack LGBTQ issues head on while the rest co-sign on to his legislation.
National LGBTQ campaign group backs transgender candidate in race agianst author of Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban
Danica Roem has been hard at work in an effort to take the lead in Virginia’ 13th House district race, and she just got the backing of the nation’s largest LGBTQ campaign group, the Victory Fund. Roem, a transgender woman, former journalist, and life-long Prince William County resident, is currently in a 4-way fight to [...]April 24, 2017
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