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Tuesday, 23 February 2016 00:36

Virginia House Approved A Bill Allowing Anyone To Discriminate Against LGBTQ People

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We saw last week in Florida and Georgia, bills that could lead to discrimination against the community were about to be reviewed by the Senate after having been approved by the House.

In Virginia, it is a bill both similar because it is an exemption and protection based on religion bill, and at the same time a completely different one as it is to protect all persons and businesses who would oppose equal marriage and homosexuality.

This clearly discriminatory bill was approved by the House last Tuesday and will protect "any individual, corporation, partnership, association, cooperative, limited liability company, trust, joint venture, society, organization, or any other legal or commercial entity and any successor, representative, agent, agency, or instrumentality thereof."

One can read in this bill this too: "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a government entity shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, in whole or in part, on the basis that such person believes, speaks, or acts in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that (i) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, (ii) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage, or (iii) the male sex and the term 'man' and the female sex and the term 'woman' refer to an individual's biological sex as determined at birth."

In the first extract, you will notice that there is no indication that this legislation applies to private companies. Public companies are now required to serve everyone, they could be prosecuted for discrimination, especially in cities or states with a non-discrimination law. It would seem that this bill is for all, it means that everyone will be able to discriminate the LGBT community. I speak about service companies, but it can also be schools, doctors, ....

In the second extract, you will also notice that once this act is truly an anti-LGBT act and not simply an anti-gay one. It is clearly specified a lack of recognition of transgender or genderqueer people.

This measure was therefore approved by 56 votes against 41 in the Virginia House, which is controlled by Republicans. The bill must therefore go to the Senate and the good news, though, is that it seems that there is not enough support to override the veto of Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe.

Note also that a survey was conducted in the state of Virginia that shows that 57% of people also oppose this bill.

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