I received this email from Don R. Cockes of the SBC of Virginia. Please read and respond accordingly. Please inform other Christians in VA to respond as well.
Victoria Cobb, President
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
This year, Equality Virginia and the sexual orientation/gender (SOGI) identity lobby have increased exponentially the number of bills they have introduced. They have become emboldened because they have the Governor of Virginia doing their bidding.
Two such bills were heard in the Senate General Laws committee on Monday and unfortunately both passed out of committee and are scheduled to be voted on later this week in the full Senate.
SB 785 is legislation that would add sexual behavior to the list of protected characteristics in the state’s hiring policy of non-discrimination. If this bill is successful, it would be the first time in Virginia history that sexual orientation/gender identify would be elevated to a protected class in the law. The consequences of SB 785 are very real and will pave the way for similar legislation affecting private businesses and faith-based entities. SB 785 is self-admittedly Equality Virginia’s “baby step” toward requiring private businesses and faith-based ministries that receive state funding to hire homosexuals or face discrimination by the state.
The second bill is SB 1211. SB 1211 is an overzealous reaction to the Virginia Marriage Amendment case earlier this year. Equality Virginia argues that since Virginia’s Marriage Amendment has been struck down by the courts, all gender-specific references should be removed from Virginia’s law. That means “father” and “mother” should be “parent” and “parent.” “Husband” and “wife” should be “spouse” and “spouse.” Remarkably, the bill also says that “maternal” and “paternal” are interchangeable terms! However, 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.” Despite the vote in committee, our understanding is that several committee members who were unable to be at the meeting left “proxy” votes against the bill that were not registered correctly. This bill may be sent back to committee to be reevaluated, but legislators still need to hear that you are opposed.
It isn’t only in obvious ways that sexual orientation/gender identity is being introduced. SB 1025 is a bill that would require companies like Uber to be licensed by the DMV. A new version of the bill was introduced in committee that included special protections for sexual behavior, but no one was told it was drafted into the bill until after it made it out of committee. The bill was, however, returned to committee and the language was removed and the bill once again became a transportation bill, not a bill to promote the sexual orientation/gender identity agenda.
Your action is crucial to encourage defeat of SB 785 and SB 1211.