It’s Still Okay to Discriminate In Virginia
In news this week, the legislature in Virginia began the process to vote a new (and some might say older) version of the anti-discrimination protections bill into law for workers of the state. The reason that the question is even on the table for the lawmakers in Virginia is due to the fact that Gov. McDonnell recently repealed anti-discrimination protections for GLBTQ state employees.
According to sources at the Washington Post, McDonnell’s stance is that, “his predecessors had overstepped their executive authority by including sexual orientation protections in the orders and has not renewed them. He said the issue would be properly decided by the General Assembly.” This seems to be more of the same argument that many lawmakers, and states are using to remove existing protections for queer citizens with regard to marriage equality in places like California and Maine.
The new-old bill on the floor of the General Assembly in Virginia has passed the largely Democratic House, but it is expected to be killed by lawmakers in the more conservative Senate. More on the Governor’s stance and possible motives can be found here.
My question is, when did we become America’s pariahs? Last year it took tacking a hate crimes bill onto a defense bill for the federal government to even consider GLBTQ people in that lawmaking decision, and even then it still didn’t pass. Living in a country where defense spending tops EVERYTHING in the Federal Government, it is astonishing that my sexuality could play such a huge roll in one bill. It has prompted states to take away rights of marriage equality that had already existed, again creating a second class of citizens, and in some cases even third. Now Governor McDonnell has taken away his own states employees rights against discrimination which could lead to good, hardworking people being fired for who they love, in an already tight job market.
All of this with the argument that executive and judicial powers are being abused when laws are instituted outside the legislative process- laws that are meant to equalize and protect EVERYONE!
I didn’t see any of these guys raising a stink when the Supreme Court recently sold our election process to the highest corporate bidders.