Skip to comments.Republican Del. Villanueva sponsors gay-rights bill
Posted on 01/14/2014 7:38:21 AM PST by csvset
For years, gay rights has been one of the hot-button social issues that serve as fodder for partisan warfare in the General Assembly, with Democrats favoring gay-friendly measures and Republicans opposing them.
But the partisan lines are starting to blur a bit.
This year, several lawmakers have introduced legislation to prohibit discrimination in state employment based on sexual orientation, and one of them is a Republican: Del. Ron Villanueva of Virginia Beach.
The 43-year-old delegate, who is beginning his third two-year term in the House, said Monday his decision to try to help protect Virginia's gay minority was rooted in his own minority status as a Filipino-American.
"I've experienced discrimination. My family has. My race has," he said. "If I can help move the needle, that's what I'm here to do.... In this day and age, we need to root out discrimination on all levels."
It remains to be seen how many of his fellow Republicans Villanueva will be able to bring along on the issue. Similar measures have passed the closely divided state Senate in recent sessions, only to die in the heavily Republican House.
But Villanueva's sponsorship of HB562  is a sign that some Republicans are evolving on gay rights, said Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, an openly gay lawmaker who is co-sponsoring a similar bill in the Senate.
"He's not the only one who's evolving," Ebbin said. "There are others."
To some degree, the workplace discrimination issue is irrelevant for the next four years because Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order shortly after his inauguration Saturday banning discrimination in state employment.
But governors come and go, said Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico County, the other co-sponsor of the Senate bill.
"We need to take this issue off of the table," McEachin said. "The General Assembly needs to pass this bill and make a positive statement against discrimination."
Sensing that the public is moving in their direction, Virginia Democrats have campaigned hard against Republicans in recent election cycles on such social issues as gay rights and abortion. The Assembly's Republican leadership has tried to tamp down the legislative focus on such issues, with limited success.
Case in point: Democrats held back-to-back press conferences Monday rolling out their agenda on gay rights and women's health. In addition to banning employment discrimination, they want to:
n Repeal Virginia's 2006 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
n Repeal a 2012 law mandating that women seeking abortions undergo an ultrasound procedure first.
n Reverse a measure instituted by Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell last year prohibiting abortion coverage in insurance plans sold on the new federal health care law's health benefits exchange.
"This is not a time for us to be quiet," said Del. Kaye Kory, D-Fairfax County. "This is a time for us to bring this issue to the forefront and keep it there."
Monday's salvos drew pushback from the conservative Family Foundation of Virginia.
"Fewer Americans are working today than at any point since the Carter administration; but instead of focusing on jobs and the economy, liberals in Virginia have introduced nearly 20 bills dealing with sex and abortion," Victoria Cobb, the group's president, said by email. "The left's attacks on marriage, religious liberty and parental rights won't be distracting enough for Virginians to notice they don't have jobs, but they could undermine Governor McAuliffe's claims that he wants to work across party lines and avoid divisive issues."
Pilot writer Julian Walker contributed to this report.
Bill Sizemore, 804-697-1560, firstname.lastname@example.org
"I've experienced discrimination. My family has. My race has,"
Really Ron, do tell.
<< Monday’s salvos drew pushback from the conservative Family Foundation of Virginia. >>
A very important organization.
Thank you Mr. Christie for refusing to come down to help Cuccinelli. After we get gay marriage here, we’ll expand Medicaid.
Why does this article and others talk about “women’s health”, which means fewer restrictions on abortion? How did the liberals change the language so tha women’s health means abortion? Certainly there are many other aspects of women’s health.
I’m amazed that some folks can’t distinguish between equal treatment under the law towards all citizens and laws that force people to give up liberty as a price of doing business in the public square. In other words, government shouldn’t show preference or discriminate against people, but private business owners have the constitutional right to associate (or not associate) with whoever they want.
I don’t care if the politician is Republican or Democrat. Anyone who would force a business owner to hire a man who likes to wear dresses or a flaming (mentally ill) homosexual to represent said business, is a statist. In a free country, people are free to associate with whoever they want, say whatever they want (even hurtful things), and practice what they believe.
“In other words, government shouldnt show preference or discriminate against people, but private business owners have the constitutional right to associate (or not associate) with whoever they want.”
What do you think the lunch counter protests at Woolworths in the 60’s were about? Did those private businesses have a right to segregate their lunch counters? If no, how can you argue they can choose not to do business with gays? How is this any different? You either own the business, or you don’t.
No matter who your preferred customers are.
You bring up an excellent point. Liberty was indeed sacrificed during the civil right era in the 60s. The lunch counter protests were absolutely justified, but that didn’t mean they needed to have a top down, government imposed solution that violated the US Constitution.
Freedom of association is just that. You don’t give up constitutional rights as a price of doing business. Well, actually you do in today’s America, but that doesn’t mean it’s legally or even morally right.
So those business owners who discriminated against blacks should have been ostracized, and they deserved to lose money and be driven out of business over time. However, they should have had the freedom to refuse business to whoever that wanted. That’s called liberty. It can be messy, but it’s worth it.
Government owned and operated facilities, like public water fountains, are an entirely different matter. Government is absolutely prohibited from showing preference or discriminating against people on the basis of race (or any of the other constitutionally protected characteristics). It doesn’t matter to me if the Supreme Court claims affirmative action is OK, because affirmative action is blatantly unconstitutional on the face of it.
As you pointed out, this is exactly why business owners will likely lose the gay rights battle. The precedent was set in the civil rights era. If you are a business owner who doesn’t want a transgender to represent your business (for obvious reasons), tough. You’ll be forced to comply or go out of business. That’s “freedom” in America today.
You really think its going to pass ?
The problem is that nobody thinks the state government should discriminate in hiring against a person for their personal sexual choices.
Private individuals should be allowed to maintain hiring based on their own moral belief system.
But these bills are never just about making sure a state government manager can’t fire some worker because they don’t like the worker. It always leads to SPECIAL protections, making it HARDER to fire somebody if they are part of the “protected” class.
But you can’t win an argument if your position is defined as “you want gay people to lose their jobs”.
Whether it passes or not , we’ll see. Why it was introduced by a Republican and the reasoning he cites for it is the issue to me.
Yep. Biggest problem facing our nation and states: how we treat queers. Got it.
he’s not a republican. He’s a democrat in drag.
Why did he propose it? He’s probably a closet pervert.
And he did not “evolve” he decayed.
Here’s the confusion: We are still allowed to discriminate on the basis of behavior in this country. If I don’t like how you treat your wife in public, for example, then get out of my store, I don’t want your business. Likewise, if you come in and tell me that you like to take it up the rear, get out of my store, I don’t want your business.
Some people have same-sex attraction, and of those, some choose to adopt the gay/LGBT label and others do not. Those who adopt the label are essentially saying “I do or intend to take it up the rear.” Those who do not adopt the label are just people who happen to be attracted to the same sex but choose not to engage in the behavior.
My point, then, is that by demanding non-discrimination against “homosexuals,” then the government is demanding that I accept the behavior that those people engage in. It was a clever choice on the part of homosexual lobbyists to adopt an ambiguous term that means having same-sex attraction and engaging in same-sex sodomy. That way, they can cry about being discriminated about their orientation without addressing their immoral activities.