Government Nondiscrimination Act; created. (HB773)

Introduced By

Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock) with support from co-patron Del. Les Adams (R-Chatham)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Government Nondiscrimination Act; creation. Creates the Government Nondiscrimination Act (the Act), which prohibits a government entity from taking any discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes, speaks, or acts in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman and that the terms "man" and "woman" refer to an individual's immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics of the individual at the time of birth. For purposes of the Act, discriminatory actions include actions that adversely affect the tax treatment of a person or that withhold or otherwise make unavailable any (i) grant, contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, guarantee, loan, scholarship, license, certification, accreditation, or employment; (ii) entitlement or benefit under a benefit program; or (iii) entitlement to utilize state property. The Act also provides that a person shall be considered to be validly accredited, licensed, or certified for any purpose under state law if such person would otherwise have been accredited, licensed, or certified but for a determination based upon such person's sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction. Read the Bill »

Status

02/25/2016: Passed the Senate

History

DateAction
01/12/2016Committee
01/12/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/16 16102510D
01/12/2016Referred to Committee on General Laws
02/03/2016Assigned to sub: Subcommittee #4
02/03/2016Assigned GL sub: Subcommittee #4
02/11/2016Reported from General Laws with substitute (13-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2016Committee substitute printed 16105495D-H1
02/11/2016Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (4-Y 1-N)
02/13/2016Read first time
02/15/2016Read second time
02/15/2016Committee substitute agreed to 16105495D-H1
02/15/2016Motion to refer to Courts of Justice committee rejected
02/15/2016Pending question ordered
02/15/2016Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB773H1
02/16/2016Read third time and passed House (56-Y 41-N)
02/16/2016VOTE: PASSAGE (56-Y 41-N) (see vote tally)
02/17/2016Constitutional reading dispensed
02/17/2016Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
02/22/2016Reported from General Laws and Technology with substitute (8-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
02/22/2016Committee substitute printed 16105751D-S1
02/24/2016Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/25/2016Read third time
02/25/2016Reading of substitute waived
02/25/2016Committee substitute agreed to 16105751D-S1
02/25/2016Pending question ordered (34-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/25/2016Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute HB773S1
02/25/2016Passed Senate with substitute (21-Y 19-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2016Placed on Calendar
02/29/2016Passed by until Thursday, March 3, 2016
03/03/2016Passed by until Monday, March 7, 2016
03/07/2016Passed by for the day
03/08/2016Passed by for the day
03/09/2016Speaker ruled Senate substitute 16105751D-S1 not germane
03/10/2016Chair ruled bill not properly before the Senate
03/11/2016No further action taken
03/11/2016Failed to pass in House

Video

This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 6 clips in all, totaling 1 hour.

Transcript

This is a transcript of the video clips in which this bill is discussed.



Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): FLOOR.

[Unknown]: LET ME FIRST DRAW YOUR ATTENTION TO THE ACTUAL LANGUAGE IN THE BILL WHICH ALLOWS ANYONE TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST SOMEONE WHO HAS SEXUAL RELATIONS NOT IN A MARRIAGE BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN, THEREFORE, ANY PREMARITAL SEX, ANYTHING, ANY EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIRS WOULD BE A BASIS OF DISCRIMINATION. SO THAT WHEN I LOOK AT WHAT IS ALLOWED IN THIS BILL, IT WOULD INVOLVE SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS AND LICENSURE AND ACCREDITATION AND ALL MANNER OF GOVERNMENT ACTIONS WOULD APPLY TO THAT PROVISION. I GO BACK TO MY ENGLISH MAJOR DAYS IN HAWTHORNE, WHEN A SCARLETT A WAS PUT ON THE YOU HAVE THE POTENTIAL THAT WOMAN. IF YOU HAVE IN THE PARLANCE OF MY DAY A BABY OUT OF WEDLOCK, THAT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, YOU COULD BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BECAUSE ACCORDING TO THE WORDING OF THIS BILL, YOU HAD SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS OUTSIDE OF A MARRIAGE BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN. THIS OVERWRITE OF THIS BILL APPLIES TO ANOTHER ELEMENT OF MY BACKGROUND. WHEN I ENTERED CAMPUS ON THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, A LARGE STATE UNIVERSITY, THE DEAN OF WOMEN IN THAT LARGE STATE UNIVERSITY HAD A DEFINITE NETWORK WITH TAXI CAB DRIVERS, AND SHE GOT REGULAR REPORTS IF ANY WOMAN WAS LEFT OFF OR PICKED UP AT AN APARTMENT OF A MALE. AND PARENTS GOT LETTERS ABOUT WHAT THEIR DAUGHTER WAS DOING THERE WILL BE MORE IN JUST A MOMENT. SHE ACTUALLY WAS DISMISSED DURING THE FOUR YEARS THAT I WAS ON CAMPUS. BUT THE REASON THAT SHE WAS DISMISSED ACTUALLY IS RIGHT IN LINE WITH THE WONDERFUL REMARKS WE HEARD THIS MORNING IN BLACK HISTORY MONTH, BECAUSE SHE WROTE A LETTER TO THE PARENTS WHO HAPPENED TO BE ON THE BOARD OF THE MICHIGAN NAACP, THAT THEIR DAUGHTER HAD, IN FACT, BEEN TAKEN TO THE APARTMENT OF SOMEONE OF A DIFFERENT RACE. SO THAT THE IDEA THAT RELIGIOUS BELIEFS CAN INTERFERE WITH YOUR OBLIGATION TO CARRY OUT THE LAW IS SOMETHING THAT IS TRAGICALLY PART OF OUR HISTORY, AND WITH THIS BILL, WE ARE ABOUT TO WRITE ANOTHER CHAPTER. I DON'T HAVE THE WORDS BEFORE ME TO AGAIN QUOTE IN THE ORIGINAL RULING IN LOVING, BUT IT WAS GOD'S WILL THAT THERE BE A SEPARATION OF THE RACES, AND WE ARE ABOUT TO ALLOW THE SAME IN THIS PARTICULAR BILL, THAT THAT ONE INTERPRETATION WILL STAND AGAINST THE LAW OF THE LAND. LET ME TURN, THEN, TO THE OTHER RAMIFICATION OF THIS BILL. WHAT WE HAVE, THEN, IN NEWSPAPER HEADLINES ARE HEADLINES SUCH AS THESE: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BILL, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACT, EQUALS $60 MILLION OF LOST REVENUE FOR INDIANA, APPEARING IN THE JANUARY 26, 2016. THAT'S THE AMOUNT OF MONEY LAST YEAR'S RFRA, THE DEBACLE COST JUST THE CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS. LAST MARCH, WHEN IT BECAME LAW, MANY GROUPS AND CONVENTIONS THAT PLANNED TO HOLD EVENTS IN INDIANAPOLIS FOUND NEW LOCATIONS. IT ALSO, IN THE PAPERS, APPEARED IN MARCH 2015, WHEN THE BILL WAS DESIGNED IN INDIANA, THAT YOU HAD STRONG OPPOSITION, FIERCE OPPOSITION, BY BUSINESS LEADERS WITHIN THE STATE. TO USE ON OWNER'S FAITH AS A REASON TO REFUSE SERVICES. THE RISK OF THE ACT RANGED FROM POTENTIAL WORKPLACE LAWSUITS ON RELIGIOUS GROUNDS TO A BROADER AND DEEPER BUSINESS CHILL ON THE STATE, WITH MONEY MAKING CONFERENCES AND MAJOR CORPORATIONS THREATENING TO PULL OUT. WE HAVE THAT AT STAKE. BUT WHEN I MENTION THE WORKPLACE, WE ARE ALSO THEN TALKING ABOUT APPLYING THIS TO THE DISTURBANCE THAT SOMEONE MIGHT TAKE ABOUT ANYTHING HAPPENING IN THE WORKPLACE THAT MIGHT BE TERMED AN EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR. ONCE AGAIN, YOU COULD NOT TAKE APPLICATION ACTION AGAINST SUCH AN INDIVIDUAL WHO REPEATEDLY SPEAKS OUT ABOUT HOW WRONG THAT IS. IF YOU DID TAKE WORK ACTION AGAINST SUCH AN INDIVIDUAL FOR OTHER WORK PURPOSES WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THEIR ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES THEY CAN GO DIRECTLY TO COURT AND GET FULL -- MIGHT AS WELL, BECAUSE I'M GOING TO GET FULL OF LEGAL FEES IN THAT COURT LAWSUIT IF I PREVAIL. WHAT WE ARE UNLEASHING HERE IS JUST PLAIN BADLY WRITTEN LEGISLATION. UNFORTUNATELY, THOUGH, IT ALSO HAS VERY DEEP RAMIFICATIONS. I DO TAKE THE JEFFERSON STATUTE OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM EXTREMELY SERIOUSLY. IN MY CASE, AS I HAVE MIGRATED FROM SERVING ON THE STATE BOARD OF THE METHODIST CHURCH, WHEN I WAS IN YOUTH GROUP, TO NOW BEING A UNITARIAN, WHICH IS CLOSER TO JEFFERSON'S OWN RELIGIOUS PRACTICES. I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO SIDE ON THE SIDE OF THE QUAKER CONCEPT OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, THAT EACH INDIVIDUAL HAS THAT FREEDOM. I DO NOT ASSOCIATE MYSELF WITH THE PURITAN VISION OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, WHICH WOULD PLACE A SCARLETT A ON SOMEONE FOR SOCIETY TO ALWAYS PUNISH. THANK YOU.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN FROM FAIRFAX, MR. SICKLES.

Del. Mark Sickles (D-Alexandria): THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER, I'D LIKE TO SPEAK TO THE BILL.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN HAS THE FLOOR.

Del. Mark Sickles (D-Alexandria): THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER. YOU WILL HAVE TO EXCUSE ME FOR TAKING THIS BILL A LITTLE PERSONALLY. BUT WHEN WE CALL A BILL THE GOVERNMENT NONDISCRIMINATION ACT AND THEN WE READ IT, BLACK IS WHITE, UP IS DOWN, SWEAT DRY, MR. SPEAKER, THIS BILL IS A DISCRIMINATION BILL. I MEAN, IF IT LOOKS LIKE A DUCK, SWIMS LIKE A DUCK, WALKS LIKE A DUCK AND QUACKS LIKE A DUCK, IT'S A DUCK, AND THIS IS A DUCK. IT'S NOT A BANANA. THIS IS A DISCRIMINATORY BILL THAT IS GOING TO HURT OUR STATE. NOW, A LOT OF YOU PROBABLY THINK THIS IS A FREE VOTE BECAUSE THIS HAS NO CHANCE, NO PRAYER OF BECOMING LAW, BUT YOUR VOTE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE, YOU KNOW, YOUR KIDS WILL BE LOOKING BACK ON WHAT YOU DO TODAY AND HOW YOU VOTE ON THIS BILL. WE'VE COME A LONG WAY. I HEARD IT CALLED THE RELIGION OF SECULAR HUMANISM, SOMETHING LIKE THAT. BUT THIS YEAR WILL BE THE 14TH YEAR OF THE ANNUAL EQUALITY VIRGINIA DINNER, I THINK I'VE BEEN TO MOST OF THEM. USED TO BE WE WOULD HAVE, YOU KNOW, A FEW LOCAL BUSINESSES, MAYBE A COUPLE OF LAW FIRMS, A CHURCH OR TWO, SPONSOR THE DINNER. FIRST PAGE IN THE COVER, VIRGINIA'S LARGEST BANK, CAPITAL ONE, BACK PAGE, ALTRIA, ALTRIA TODAY, WORKING TOGETHER, ALTRIA SALUTES EQUALITY VIRGINIA, INTEGRITY, TRUST, AND RESPECT, DEFINE THE ALTRIA COMPANY'S WORKPLACES. IT GOES ON. GENWORTH, I THINK THEY'VE GIVEN A FEW OF YOU A CONTRIBUTION TO BE HERE. HERE'S A PICTURE, A NICE PICTURE OF A FAMILY WITH THEIR KID. WE CAME OUT EARLY IN LIFE. WE'VE HAD A PARTNER FRIENDLY INSURANCE SOLUTION SINCE 1999, AT GENWORTH, WE BELIEVE LOVE IS LOVE, AND WE'RE HERE TO HELP PROTECT IT. GENWORTH PUTS DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION AT THE HEART OF EVERYTHING WE DO. WE SALUTE EQUALITY VIRGINIA. SORRY, MR. SPEAKER. IT GOES ON AND ON. HERE'S A GOOD ONE. DOMINION, THE POWER OF DIVERSITY. I LIKE THE DIFFERENT COLORED CHORDS THEY HAVE COMING OUT OF A SOCKET, AT DOMINION, WE KNOW DIVERSITY ISN'T JUST GOOD, IT'S GOOD FOR BUSINESS, IT'S NOT JUST SOMETHING WE STRIVE FOR, IT'S SOMETHING WE INSIST ON. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT DIVERSITY IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS, HAVING A WORK FORCE, AND A GROUP OF SUPPLIERS WHO COME FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS, WHO HAVE DIFFERENT SETS OF EXPERIENCES, HELPS US GENERATE A BROADER RANGE AND BETTER IDEAS. AS A RESULT, OUR COMPANY IS STRENGTHENED, OUR COMMUNITIES PROSPER, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, OUR CUSTOMERS BENEFIT. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DOMINION AND OUR DEDICATION TO DIVERSITY, AND THEN IT TELLS YOU WHERE TO GO. KPMG, LECLAIR RYAN, MERRILL LYNCH, HUNT WILLIAMS, WE ARE PROUD TO SUPPORT EQUALITY VIRGINIA DINNER, SUN TRUST BANK, WILLIAMS AND MULLEN, MORGAN STANLEY, A COUPLE OF DOCTORS HERE, LUTHERAN FAMILY SERVICES. LUTHERAN FAMILY SERVICES. ARE READY TO FOSTER CARE? THEY WANT YOU TO BE A FOSTER PARENT. THEY WANT SOMEONE LIKE ME TO BE A FOSTER PARENT. THERE'S A LOT TO KNOW AND THINK ABOUT IN SUPPORTING, THAT YOU WORK WITH PEOPLE THAT WILL GIVE YOU THE SUPPORT AND KNOWLEDGE YOU NEED TO MAKE THE RELATIONSHIP A SUCCESS. WHETHER YOU'RE AN OLDER, AN OLDER, SINGLE, SAME SEX COUPLE OR A STAY AT HOME PARENT, A RENTER, HOMEOWNER, ADOPTION OR FOSTER CARE MAY BE THE RIGHT MOVE FOR YOU, CALL 800 SOMETHING AND WE'LL TALK ABOUT IT, LUTHERAN FAMILY SERVICES OF VIRGINIA. RICHMOND SPIDERS, MR. SPEAKER, THEIR ALUMNI GROUP IS A SUPPORTER. ANOTHER LAW FIRM, I DON'T KNOW ALL THESE LAW FIRMS. SO MR. SPEAKER, THE WORLD HAS CHANGED. I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT A SECULAR RELIGION. I THINK WE HAVE TO CHOOSE WHETHER WE WANT TO TREAT EVERYBODY EQUALLY OR NOT. IT'S AS SIMPLE AS THAT. THE LAW IS THE SAME FOR EVERYBODY. SO THIS IS A VOTE THAT YOU GET TO MAKE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, RIGHT NOW, ARE WE GOING TO BE FAIR TO EVERYBODY IN VIRGINIA OR NOT. YOU KNOW, WE'RE GOING TO PASS A BUDGET NEXT WEEK. HOPEFULLY IT'S GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF INVESTMENT, NEW INVESTMENT IN RESEARCH, HIGH TECH, BIOSCIENCES, CYBER, BIG DATA. WE COULD PASS THIS BILL AND JUST FORGET ALL THAT. THEY CAN GO TO BOSTON, THEY CAN GO TO SAN DIEGO OR SAN FRANCISCO OR SEATTLE OR MADISON, WISCONSIN TO DO THEIR BUSINESS. THEY DON'T NEED TO COME HERE, WHERE PEOPLE ARE SECOND CLASS CITIZENS, WHEN WE PASS LEGISLATION LIKE THIS. SO I GUESS THAT'S ALL I CAN SAY. PLEASE DEFEAT THIS MEASURE. THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER.

[Unknown]: [APPLAUSE]

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN FROM SHENANDOAH, MR. GILBERT.

Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock): THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER, SPEAKING TO THE BILL?

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN HAS THE FLOOR.

Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock): WELL, MR. SPEAKER, THIS BILL AND ITS PATRON ARE NOT CONCERNED WITH WHAT GENWORTH FINANCIAL DOES OR DOMINION OR ANY OF THE DOWNTOWN LAW FIRMS OR ANYONE ELSE THAT WAS JUST CITED BY THE GENTLEMAN. THAT'S NOT WHAT THIS IS ABOUT. THOSE OF US WHO DIFFER WITH THE GENTLEMAN ON THINGS LIKE TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE AND TRADITIONAL GENDER IDENTITIES, YOU KNOW, WE FIND OURSELVES CONSTANTLY UNDER ATTACK BY THE SHIFTING CULTURAL WINDS THAT BLOW AS A HEAD WIND AGAINST US. YOU KNOW, WE ARE CONCERNED WITH THIS LEGISLATION, BY THIS LEGISLATION, WITH WHAT I'VE SAID PREVIOUSLY ON THIS ISSUE. IT IS THAT THE ACTIVISTS WHO PURSUE SAME SEX MARRIAGE AND OTHER ISSUES RELATED TO THAT, THEY ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH EQUALITY, AND THEY WILL NOT BE SATISFIED UNTIL PEOPLE OF FAITH ARE DRIVEN OUT OF THIS DISCOURSE, ARE MADE TO COWER, ARE MADE TO BE IN FEAR OF SPEAKING THEIR MINDS, OF LIVING UP TO THEIR DEEPLY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. THEY WANT US DRIVEN OUT. AND MAKE NO MISTAKE, THIS IS NOT ABOUT PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS, THIS IS NOT ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN INDIANA, WHICH DEALT WITH PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS, PRIVATE COMPANIES. THIS IS ABOUT USING THE MECHANISMS OF GOVERNMENT TO ACCOMPLISH THE GOAL OF DRIVING PEOPLE OF FAITH OUT OF THE PUBLIC SQUARE, MAKING THEM RETREAT BEHIND THE FOUR WALLS OF THEIR PLACE OF WORSHIP, NO LONGER ABLE TO ENGAGE IN COMMERCE, NO LONGER ABLE TO ENGAGE IN ANYTHING THAT MIGHT BE DEEMED DISCRIMINATION. MR. SPEAKER, ALL WE ARE LOOKING FOR HERE IS REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION OF LONG-HELD, DEEPLY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. THE GENTLEWOMAN TALKED ABOUT -- MADE REFERENCE TO A SCHOOL. YOU KNOW, WE HAVE A BIG SCHOOL HERE IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, LIBERTY UNIVERSITY. AND THE STUDENTS WHO ATTEND LIBERTY UNIVERSITY GET TUITION ASSISTANCE GRANTS. IT'S NOT NEARLY ENOUGH TO COVER THEIR EDUCATION, BUT IT HELPS. IT'S A PUBLIC POLICY DECISION WE MADE LONG AGO TO HELP STUDENTS ATTENDING OUR PRIVATE SCHOOLS. AND LIBERTY UNIVERSITY HAS RULES, BECAUSE IT'S A CHRISTIAN INSTITUTION ABOUT WHO CAN LIVE IN THEIR STUDENT HOUSING, ABOUT SAME SEX MARRIAGE, ABOUT LIVING TOGETHER OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE, THINGS THAT ARE NOT NEW CONCEPTS. THEY ARE UNPOPULAR IN POPULAR CULTURE, BUT THEY ARE NOT NEW. AND ONE CAN ENVISION A TIME IN THE NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE WHERE GOVERNMENT WILL BE USED TO PUNISH PLACES LIKE LIBERTY UNIVERSITY, BY SAYING GUESS WHAT, UNLESS YOU SUBSCRIBE TO THAT CHURCH OF SECULAR BELIEFS THAT I REFERRED TO YESTERDAY ON THIS ISSUE, WE'RE NOT GOING TO HELP YOU ANYMORE. YOUR TUITION ASSISTANCE GRANTS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE. THAT IS ONE OF POTENTIALLY THOUSANDS OF WAYS THAT THE GOVERNMENT COULD PUNISH SOMEONE FOR NOT SUBSCRIBING TO THIS BELIEF SYSTEM. THE GENTLEMAN MENTIONED FOSTER CARE. YOU KNOW MR. SPEAKER, WE HAD AN ISSUE THAT OUR PATRON NOT TOO LONG -- THAT I PATRON DOLLARS THAT BECAME LAW WHERE -- PATRONED WHERE WE PROTECTED DEEPLY HELD CARETIES THAT PROVIDED ADOPTIVE SERVICES, BECAUSE THEY PROVIDED THE BULK OF THE SERVICES, BECAUSE IF WE DID AWAY WITH THEM, IF THEY DID NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THESE BELIEFS, WE WOULD HAVE DONE A GREAT DETRIMENT TO CHILDREN SEEKING FOSTER CARE PLACEMENT AND ADOPTION.

[Unknown]: WE KNOW, THOSE OF US WHO BELIEVE IN THIS AND BELIEVE IN THIS BILL, KNOW THAT THERE WILL BE NO STOPPING THE FORCES THAT CHOOSE TO MAKE US COWER AND GO AWAY. AND ON MY WATCH, MR. SPEAKER, I WILL BE PROUD TO SAY I THOUGHT TO KEEP THE GOVERNMENT FROM BEING USED AS A VEHICLE FOR MAKING THAT HAPPEN. AND SO I WOULD APPRECIATE VERY MUCH SUPPORTING THAT AGE-OLD PRINCIPLE OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM THAT WE ENJOY HERE IN VIRGINIA. THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER. [APPLAUSE]

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN FROM VIRGINIA BEACH, MR. TAYLOR.

Del. Scott Taylor (R-Virginia Beach): THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER. SPEAKING TO THE BILL?

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN HAS THE FLOOR.

Del. Scott Taylor (R-Virginia Beach): MR. SPEAKER, I FEEL COMPELLED TO STAND AND SAY SOMETHING, AND LET ME PREFACE IT BY SAYING I FIGHT FOR FAITH. I HAVE DEEPLY HELD BELIEFS AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, AND I APPRECIATE THE INTENT OF THE GENTLEMAN FROM SHENANDOAH. I APPRECIATE WHAT HE IS TRYING TO DO. I AGREE WITH WHAT HE IS TRYING TO DO. BUT I DO BELIEVE THE BILL IS TOO BROAD AND THEREFORE I CANNOT SUPPORT IT. THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN FROM PRINCE WILLIAM, MR. MARSHALL.

Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas): SPEAKING TO THE MESH SNIEWR.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN HAS THE FLOOR.

Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas): MR. SPEAKER, IN 2015, WHEN THIS FIGHT IN INDIANA WHICH WAS ATTEMPTING TO PASS A STATUTE JUST LIKE VIRGINIA, IT WAS CURIOUS TO ME THAT THE GOVERNOR INVITED SOME BUSINESSES THERE TO COME TO A STATE THAT HAD A LAW THAT INDIANA WAS THINKING OF AN ARTICLE APPEARED IN THE PASSING. "NEW YORK TIMES," AN OP-ED BY FRANK GREELY ENTITLED BIGOTRY, THE BILE AND LESSONS OF INDIANA, AND THE GENTLEMAN, MR. BRUNY, CITED A MICHAEL GOLD, A PROMINENT GAY THRILL AN THROPPIST, HE TOLD ME THE CHURCH LEADERS MUST BE TAKEN SEXUALITY OFF THE LIST AS WARRANTED. BEFORE I GO FURTHER, I WANT TO STATE, I HAVE NO ABILITY TO MAKE A MORAL JUDGMENT ON ANYBODY. I HAVE NO WINDOW INTO ANYONE'S SOUL, BUT I CAN LOOK AT LAWS AND CONSEQUENCES. AND THAT'S AS FAR AS MY ABILITY TO MAKE JUDGMENT EXTENDS. GOD KNOWS HEARTS. I DON'T. MR. SPEAKER, THE LARGE SUCCESS OF THE LBGT MOVEMENT IN PUSHING SAME SEX MARRIAGE HAS COME FROM THE IDENTITY OF THESE EFFORTS WITH THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. NOW, THERE ARE STARK DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WHAT HAPPENED TO AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND WHAT HAPPENED TO PERSONS WHO HAVE SAME SEX INCLINATIONS. NEVER WERE THERE LITERACY TESTS FOR PEOPLE WITH THOSE ATTRACTIONS, THERE WERE NOT SEPARATE SCHOOLS ASSIGNED TO SUCH INDIVIDUALS, BUT NEVER THELESS, THAT IS HOW THEY HAVE ACHIEVED SOME STATUS VIRGINIA IS AN EMPLOYMENT AT WILL STATE. YOU CAN BE HIRED OR FIRED FOR ANY REASON. I'M CURIOUS HOW SOMEONE WHO IS GOING TO BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS ENGAGED IN SAME SEX BEHAVIOR WALKING INTO A RESTAURANT. FOR THE LIFE OF ME, I CAN'T FIGURE IT OUT. I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU WOULD, QUOTE, DISCRIMINATE AGAINST SUCH AN INDIVIDUAL. BUT I DO KNOW THAT THERE ARE EFFORTS TO CONDITION PARTICIPATION IN WHAT THE GENTLEMAN WHO SAID THE PUBLIC SPARE, UPON THE ACCEPTANCE OF THIS AGENDA PUSHED BY I THINK A MINORITY OF THOSE WHO SUPPORTED SAME SEX MARRIAGE. WHAT IS THAT ABOUT? WELL, LET'S LOOK AT THE OTHER DIRECTION. LBGT HIRING AND FIRING CAN WORK IN TWO DIRECTIONS. APPLE COMPUTER HIRED A 10 YEAR ALABAMA STATE REPRESENTATIVE, REPUBLICAN NAMED JAY LOVE WHO WAS CHAIRMAN OF THEIR TAXING COMMITTEE. HE WAS TO LOBBY FOR THEM. HOWEVER, UNDER THE RUBRICK OF A NEW TOLERANCE, WHEN APPLE FOUND OUT THAT LOVE, IN FACT, COMMITTED THE SOCIAL SIN OF OPPOSING LBGT MARRIAGE, HE WAS FIRED. INTERESTINGLY. BRENDON IKE, BRILLIANT GENTLEMAN, FOUNDER OF BRAZILA, FIRE FROST INTERNET BROWSER AND INVENTER OF THE -- WHAT IS IT, ONE OF THESE COMPUTER LANGUAGES, JAVA SCRIPT, COMMITTED A SIN OF DONATING $1000 TO PROPOSITION EIGHT. FOR HIS EXERCISE OF HIS FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS, HE WAS FIRED. NOBODY EVER CLAIMED OR COULD POINT OUT THAT HE WAS IN ANY SENSE BIASED AGAINST PERSONS OF THE SAME SEX ATTRACTION, BUT HE WAS NEVERTHELESS FIRED. SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS, SOUTHERN VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR, ORSON SCOTT CARD, A MORMON, PAST MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION, WAS EASED OUT OF DC COMICS, THE SUPERMAN PROJECT FOR HIS OPPOSITION TO SAME SEX MARRIAGE. ADVOCATES OF THE NEW TOLERANCE ARE DEFINITELY TARGETING CATHOLIC SCHOOLS. A HOMOSEXUAL TEACHER AT THE CATHOLIC MOUNT SAINT DESELLES ACADEMY IN MACON, GEORGIA FILED A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE SCHOOL WHICH DID NO RE -- DID NOT RENEW HIS CONTRACT AS A BAND TEACHER AFTER THE SCHOOL DISCOVERED HIS PLANS TO, QUOTE, MARRY A MAN, A FACT WHICH IS NOT IN DISPUTE. MONTH SAINT ESELLES WHICH HAD POSTED ITS HIRING POLICY INCLUDED A WILLINGNESS TO HIRE INDIVIDUALS WHO EXPERIENCED SAME SEX ATTRACTION, HOWEVER, WHEN HE WAS LET GO FOR HIS ACTIONS, NOT HIS INCLINATIONS, HE FILED A LAWSUIT WITH EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY INDEED THE SCHOOL HAD COMMISSION WHICH HELD THAT DISCRIMINATED AGAINST MR. DOLLAR BECAUSE OF HIS SEX. THEY INCLUDE SEXUAL STEREOTYPING HERE. ANOTHER EFFORT TO PURGE CATHOLIC SCHOOLS OF THEIR LEGITIMACY IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW IN MASSACHUSETTS, AT FONT BOND COD -- ACADEMY, AN ALL GIRLS SCHOOL IN MASSACHUSETTS RUN BY THE SISTERS OF SAINT JOSEPH, A STATE JUDGE IN DECEMBER DECIDED THE SCHOOL IMPROPERLY DESCRIM NATED AGAINST A HOMOSEXUAL MAN WHEN IT RESCINDED AN OFFER AS A FOOD SERVICES DIRECTOR AFTER LEARNING HE WAS, QUOTE, MARRIED TO A MAN. NOW, IN THE JOB APPLICATION, HE AGREED TO MODEL CATHOLIC TEACHING IN HIS LIFE. HE SAID HE ACCEPTED THAT CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT. WELL, HE HAD SECOND THOUGHTS. HE WENT BACK AND HE SUED, AND A JUDGE WENT AFTER THE SCHOOL AND SAID EVEN THOUGH THERE IS SUPPOSED TO BE A RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION FOR SUCH SCHOOLS, YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY THIS GENTLEMAN. WHAT IS DISTURBING IS THAT THE JUDGE KNEW THAT HE AGREED TO A MODEL CATHOLIC TEACHING. NOW, LET'S GO TO CRYSTAL DIXON, YOUNG AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN, ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR HUMAN RESOURCES AT THE PUBLIC UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO. SHE WROTE A LETTER, AN OP-ED IN THE TOLEDO FREE PRESS, AND TOOK ISSUE WITH THE CLAIM THAT THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE COULD BE MODELED FOR -- OR THE BASIS FOR HOM SEXUAL COMPLAINTS. SHE SAID I DIFFER WITH THAT. WELL, HER EXERCISE OF HER FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS PROVED VERY COSTLY. SHE WAS FIRED BECAUSE OF THE PUBLIC POSITION SHE TOOK IN HER OP-ED. NOW, OTHER EMPLOYEES CRITICIZED HER HER ACE A BIGOT IN THE TOLEDO PAPER. THEY WERE NOT DISCIPLINED. SHE WAS FIRED. SHE TOOK HER CASE TO THE FEDERAL COURTS. SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, MR. SPEAKER. AGREED, YES, SHE SHOULD BE FIRED. MR. SPEAKER, THIS SHOULD BE A TWO-WAY STREET, BUT IT'S NOT. THERE IS AN EFFORT TO WIPE OUT FROM THE PUBLIC SQUARE ANY RESEMBLANCE, ANY PROPOSITION WHICH STATES THIS BEHAVIOR IS PROBLEMATIC, OR IS NOT BENEFICIAL TO THE COMMON GOOD. THE TOLERANCE IS NOT EXTENDED TO THOSE OF US WHO BELIEVE THAT. THIS IS NOT LIVE AND LET LIVE. THIS IS OPPRESS UNDER THE NAME OF DISCRIMINATION. WE ARE HEADED TOWARDS A CIRCUMSTANCE IN EASTERN EUROPE WHERE THE 1940S P.50S AND '60S, YOU COULD BE A MEMBER OF ONE OF THE PROFESSIONS, LAW, TEACHING, WHATEVER, ENGINEERING, ONLY IF YOU WERE A MEMBER OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY. NOW, THIS STATUTE HERE ATTEMPTS TO PREVENT THE CONDITIONING IN PART OF THE ISSUANCE OF A BUSINESS LICENSE, OF A PROFESSIONAL LICENSE, ON A SUBSCRIPTION TO A VIEW THAT PEOPLE FIND TO BE MORALLY PROBLEMATIC. WE'VE SEEN IT ALL AROUND THE UNITED STATES. BAKERS ARE BEING FIRED -- I'M SORRY, SUED SUCCESSFULLY BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT TO BE COMPLICIT TO BE MATERIALLY PARTICIPATING IN ACTIONS THAT THEY FIND TO BE MORALLY REPUGNANT. THAT ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH. YOU CAN'T REFUSE TO DO THIS. YOU MUST BE SILENCED OR YOU WILL BE SUED. NOW, THAT IS NOT LIVE AND LET LIVE. MR. SPEAKER, THIS BODY AND THE OTHER BODY IN THIS -- AND THIS GOVERNOR, IF HE REALLY IS TOLERANT SHOULD SUPPORT THE BILL FROM THE GENTLEMAN FROM SHENANDOAH.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN FROM ARLINGTON, MR. LOPEZ.

Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington): THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER, SPEAKING TO THE BILL?

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN HAS THE FLOOR.

Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington): GEORGE WASHINGTON'S LETTER TO THE HEBREW CONGREGATIONS AT NEWPORT ISLAND IN 199 -- 1890 WAS THREE WELL CHOSEN WORDS BUT I THINK IT'S TELLING REGARDING THIS LEGISLATION. GEORGE WASHINGTON WROTE FOR HAPPILY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES GIVES TO BIGOTRY NO SANCTION TO PERSECUTION, NO ASSISTANCE, AND REQUIRES ONLY THEY WHO LIVE UNDER ITS PROTECTION SHOULD DEMEAN THEMSELVES AS GOOD CITIZENS AND GIVING IT ON ALL OCCASIONS THEIR EFFECTUAL SUPPORT. THIS LEGISLATION IS AN AFFRONT TO VIRGINIA BEING A WELCOMING CLIMATE ESPECIALLY FOR BUSINESS. THIS SHOULD BE AN OBVIOUS NO VOTE. THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER.

[Unknown]: SHALL THE BILL PASS? MR. SPEAKER?

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN FROM SHENANDOAH, PERFORM GILBERT.

[Unknown]: I WITHDRAW WHAT WAS GOING TO BE MY REQUEST, MR. SPEAKER, NOW THAT EVERYONE IS
HAVE ALL THE SENATORS VOTED? DO ANY SENATORS DESIRE TO CHANGE THEIR VOTE? THE CLERK WILL CLOSE THE ROLL. AYES 40, NOS 0. AYES 40, NOS 0. THE BILL PASSES. HOUSE BILL 773, A BILL RELATING TO THE GOVERNMENT NONDISCRIMINATION ACT, CREATION. REPORTED FROM THE COMMITTEE ON GENERAL LAWS AND TECHNOLOGY WITH A SUBSTITUTE. THE SENATOR FROM MECKLENBERG, SENATOR RUFF.

Sen. Frank Ruff (R-Clarksville): THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I MOVE THE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE BE ADOPTED.

[Unknown]: THE QUESTION IS SHALL THE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE BE AGREED TO. ALL IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION WILL SAY AYE. THOSE OPPOSED, NO. THE AYES HAVE IT. THE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE IS AGREED TO. THE SENATOR FROM MANAGER.

Sen. Frank Ruff (R-Clarksville): THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I MOVE THE BILL PASS AND SPEAKING TO THAT MOTION.

[Unknown]: THE SENATOR HAS THE FLOOR. AS THIS BILL PASSED THE COMMITTEE, IT WAS AMENDED TO BE IDENTICAL TO SENATE BILL 41. IT DEALS WITH THE POSITION TO PROTECT THE RIGHT TO NOT SOLEMNIZE ANY MARRIAGES ON THE GROUNDS OF ONE'S RJZ BELIEFS. IF YOU BLOEFD SENATE BILL 41, I ADVISE YOU OPPOSE THIS ONE. THE SENATOR FROM ALEXANDRIA, SENATOR EBBIN.

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria): SPEAKING TO THE BILL.

[Unknown]: THE SENATOR HAS THE FLOOR.

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria): MR. PRESIDENT, MEMBERS OF THE SENATE, WE DISCUSSED THIS BILL BEFORE OR A SIMILAR BILL. I WOULD LIKE TO CLARIFY WHAT THE BILL ACTUALLY DOES. I AGREE THE COMMONWEALTH MAY NOT FORCE CLERGY TO PERFORM WEDDINGS WITH WHICH THEY HAVE RELIGIOUS OBJECTION, BUT THIS BILL GOES BEYOND THAT AND I'D ENCOURAGE SOMEONE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE TO PICK UP THE CODE BOOK AND TURN TO 20-13. THE BILL SAYS THAT IT PERMITS ANY PERSON AUTHORIZED UNDER CHAPTER 2-20-13 TO REFUSE TO SOLEMNIZE A MARRIAGE IF THE ACTION COULD CAUSE THE INDIVIDUAL TO VIOLATE A SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEF. I WANT TO BE VERY CLEAR WHO APPLIES TO. IT DOES NOT ONLY APPLY TO 20-13. 20-13 ONLY SAYS THAT EVERY MARRIAGE IN THE COMMONWEALTH SHALL BE UNDER A LICENSE AND SO MANY LEMIZED IN THE MANNER PROVIDED HEREIN, AND THE 17 LAWYERS IN THIS BODY WOULD KNOW THAT ET SEQ. IS LATIN FOR INSEQUENCE OR AND THE FOLLOWING, INDICATING THE DESIRED INFORMATION IS CONTINUE IN THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS. IF YOU TURN TO SECTION 20-14 TO 20-22, IT REFERS TO MARRIAGE LICENSES AND CERTIFICATES, AND 20-23 IS WHAT I THINK THE AUTHORS OF THIS TYPE OF LEGISLATION WERE GETTING TO, THAT ORDAINED MINISTERS AND PASTORS, BUT IT WOULD ALSO INCLUDE 20-25 THAT SAYS THAT PERSONS OTHER THAN MINISTERS WHO MAY PERFORM RIGHTS INCLUDE JESUS AND JUSTICES AND THOSE AUTHORIZED BY CIRCUIT JUDGE. AND LOCALITIES, JUDGING BY THE WEB OR CALLS TO MY OFFICE THIS MORNING, OFTEN HAVE SEVERAL PEOPLE WHO ARE SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED AND WHOSE INFORMATION IS PROVIDED BY THE CIRCUIT COUNTY CLERK. THAT'S PEOPLE WOULD BE LICENSED TO DISCRIMINATE TOO, SO IT COULD BE -- IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE THAT IN SOME LOCALITIES, THAT THOSE WHO WANT TO BE LAWFULLY MARRIED UNDER THIS BILL COULD BE DENIED, TURNED AWAY BY ACTORS OF THE STATE, NOT JUST RELIGIOUS PEOPLE. NOT JUST RELIGIOUS OWE FISHANTS. AND IT WOULD GIVE BROAD LICENSE TO DISCRIMINATE AND IT'S NOT DECLARE RARVE AS THE BILL SAYS AND IT'S NOT CONSTITUTIONAL. I HOPE YOU WILL RECONSIDER AND VOTE NO.

[Unknown]: MR. PRESIDENT. THE SENATOR FROM GRAYSON. SPEAKING TO THE BILL. THE SENATOR HAS THE FLOOR. I WOULD DISAGREE WITH THE GENTLEMAN FROM ARLINGTON. THE BILL DOES HAVE 20-13 WHICH TAKES IN A WIDE VARIETY, BUT IF YOU LOOK ON LINE -- IF I CAN SEE THIS -- LINE 14, IT SAYS WHILE ACTING IN THE SCOPE OF HIS EMPLOYMENT OR CLERGY MEMBER OR MINISTER, AND SHALL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES, ACCOMMODATIONS, FACILITIES, GOODS, OR PRIVILEGES FOR THE PURPOSES OF RELATING TO SOLEMNIZING MARRIAGES. THIS IS DESIGNED TO PROTECT THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS PERSONALLY HELD BY INDIVIDUALS AND CLERGIES AND ORGANIZATIONS OF THAT TYPE FAITH. I DON'T KNOW THAT WE CAN GO AND SPECIFY AN INDIVIDUAL'S RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION IN THE CODE AND I BELIEVE OUR CONSTITUTION IN VIRGINIA HAS SPELLED IT OUT THAT WE WANT PROTECT THAT. THIS IS ANOTHER STEP IN ENSURING THE FACT THAT THESE ORGANIZATIONS AND THESE INDIVIDUALS WHO PERFORM THESE MARRIAGES ARE NOT REQUIRED TO VIOLATE THAT PERSONAL HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEF IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO PERFORM THAT'S MARRIAGES. AND I HOPE IT WOULD BE THE PLEASURE OF THE BODY TO SUPPORT THE BILL. THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE SENATOR FROM ROANOKE CITY, SENATOR EDWARDS.

Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke): MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TO OPPOSE THE BILL. THE BILL ON LINE 23 SAYS THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT ARE DECLARATORY OF EXISTING LAW. MR. PRESIDENT, THAT'S NOT TRUE. THAT'S NOT TRUE IF YOU HAVE PAID ATTENTION TO THE KENTUCKY CLERK OF COURT WHO THE JUDGE ORDERED TO PERFORM A CERTAIN MARRIAGE, THAT THE CLERK SAYS SHE REFUSED TO PERFORM BASED ON HER RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. MR. PRESIDENT, TWO KINDS OF MARRIAGES IN VIRGINIA, BAFEM THE CIVIL MARRIAGE AND THEN THERE'S THE RELIGIOUS MARRIAGE. NOW, THE FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTS THE RIGHT OF RELIGIOUS PEOPLE TO MARRY AS THEY PLEASE, TO DISCRIMINATE BASED ON THEIR SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. THAT'S THE FIRST AMENDMENT. RIGHT OF FREE EXPRESSION OF RELIGION. THAT SAME RIGHT DOESN'T APPLY TO A CIVIL SERVANT, MR. PRESIDENT. THE CIVIL SERVANT IS AUTHORIZED TO FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE SUPREME COURT WAS VERY CLEAR LAST SUMMER IN THE DECISION IN JUNE ABOUT THE ISSUE OF MARRIAGE. A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T AGREE WITH IT, THAT'S FINE, BUT THAT IS NOW THE LAW OF THE LAND ACCORDING TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT. AND ANYONE WHO IS AUTHORIZED IN A CIVIL SERVICE TO PERFORM A MARRIAGE CANNOT VIOLATE THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND THAT'S WHAT THIS WOULD BASICALLY ALLOW A PERSON TO DO. IT SAYS NO PERSON, AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM A MARRIAGE CEREMONY, AND GOES ON TO SAY, SHALL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE SERVICES IF THE ACTION WOULD CAUSE THE INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATION TO VIOLATE ITS SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BECOME A MARRIAGE CELEBRANT. YOU DON'T HAVE TO RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A CIVIL SERVANT, BUT IF YOU'RE GOING TO PERFORM A CIVIL CEREMONY, MR. PRESIDENT, YOU'RE AUTHORIZED BY THE STATE TO PERFORM THE CIVIL CEREMONY AND THE STATE MUST FOLLOW THE U.S. CONSTITUTION. WOVE HAD -- WE KNOW ABOUT THE -- WE KNOW ABOUT THE LOVING VERSUS VIRGINIA CASE IN 1967, I BELIEVE IT WAS WHERE THE U.S. SUPREME COURT OVERTURN THE VIRGINIA SPROUR ON THE QUESTION OF MARRIAGE -- SUPREME COURT ON THE QUESTION OF MARRIAGE, THE WHOLE ISSUE OF LAWS IN VIRGINIA AND THE U.S. SUPREME COURT SAID YES, MEN AND WOMEN OF THE DIFFERENT RACES CAN MARY IN VIRGINIA AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON ABOUT HOW -- WHAT KINDS OF DISCRIMINATION ARE UNLAWFUL. AND MR. PRESIDENT, IN THIS CASE, THIS WOULD PURPORT TO SAY NO ONE WHO IS PERFORMING A CIVIL CEREMONY IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM A CIVIL RELIGIOUS CEREMONY IF IT WOULD VIOLATE THEIR OWN CIVIL -- SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, PLAN PRESIDENT, WE'VE SEEN THE KENTUCKY CASE. THIS TRIES TO MIMIC THAT AND I WOULD ASK THE BODY, I HOPE IT IS THE PLEASURE OF THE BODY DEFEAT THIS LAW. IT IS NOT DECLARATORY OF EXISTING LAW, AND I HOPE IT WOULD NOT GO THIS ROUTE. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT.

[Unknown]: MR. PRESIDENT.

Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke): DID YOU WANT TO SPEAK TO THIS?

[Unknown]: I'D LIKE ON ASK HIM A QUESTION IF HE'D YIELD. OTHER SENATORS ARE WAITING TO SPEAK. OKAY. THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE SENATOR FROM ALEXANDRIA. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I DON'T WANT TO BELABOR, THIS BUT I JUST WANT TO MAKE THE POINT THAT WORDS MATTER AND THE WORDS IN THE BILL MATTER AND THE WORDS IN THE CODE MATTER. IF YOU LOOK AT LINES 11 AND 12, IT SAYS NO PERSON AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM A MARRIAGE CEREMONY PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 2.20-13, AND WHAT I WOULD CALL AND SO ON, ET SEQ. OF TITLE 20 SHALL BE REQUIRED TO SOLEMNIZE ANY MARRIAGE AND THEN IT SAYS, AND, SO IT'S REFERRING TO THE PERSON AND THEN IT SAYS AND, AND FURS UNDER THE AND UNDERLINE 13RK IT SAYS INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYED BY RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION WHILE ACTING IN THE SCOPE OF ITS EMPLOYMENT AND IT GOES ON TO SAY, SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO DO X, Y AND Z THE ACTION FOR CAUSE THE INDIVIDUAL TO VIOLATE A SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEF. ARE THE PART AFTER "AND" REFERS TO ACCOMMODATION. THE FIRST PART SAYS FOR PERSON AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM A MARRIAGE CEREMONY AND IT DOESN'T RECEIVER MERELY TO CHAPTER 20-23, WHICH IS THE PART YOU WOULD HAVE TO PUT IN IF YOU WANTED MINISTERS AND PASTORS, BUT IT DOESN'T LIMIT ITSELF TO THAT. IT DOESN'T USE THAT SPECIFIC REFERENCE. IT REALLY DOES REFER TO MORE PEOPLE, MARRIAGE CELEBRANTS AND THE GENTLEMAN FROM GRAYSON REFERENCED THE CONSTITUTION AND I WOULD JUST SAY THAT HE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. ARTICLE 16 OF THE VIRGINIA CONSTITUTION ALREADY SAYS THAT YOU'RE ENTITLED TO FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION, NOT COMPELLED TO FREQUENT OR SUPPORT RELIGIOUS WORSHIP AND IT SAYS ALL MEN SHALL BE FREE TO PROFESS AND BY ARGUMENT MAINTAIN THEIR OPINIONS IN MATTERS OF RELIGION, BUT THEN IT CLOSES BY SAYING, AND THE SAME SHALL NOT DIMINISH OR THE SAME SHALL NOT -- THE SAME IN NO WISE SHALL DIMINISH, ENLARGE OR AFFECT A CIVIL CAPACITY. MY ARGUMENT IS ARE WE TALKING ABOUT CIVIL, RELIGIOUS OR BOTH. THIS BILL TALKS ABOUT BOTH, IT GOES WAY TO FAR AND I HOPE YOU VOTE NO. THE SENATOR FROM GRAYSON, SENATOR CARRICO.

Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson): WOULD THE SENATOR FROM ROANOKE YAELD FOR A QUESTION.

[Unknown]: I'LL BE GLAD TO YAELD. I APPRECIATE THE ATTORNEY AND HIS BACKGROUND AND HEARING HIS PLANTION OF BEING A CIVIL SERVANT AND HAVING TO PERFORM THIS JOB, WOULD THE GENTLEMAN NOT AGREE THAT BY THE STATE REQUIRING, UNDER THIS SECTION OF THE CODE, FOR LICENSE -- FOR MINISTERS TO HAVE TO BE LICENSED TO PERFORM THIS MARRIAGE CEREMONY, THAT YOU'RE VIOLATING THAT MINISTER'S RELIGIOUS ARE YOU NOT CONSTITUTIONALLY BELIEFS? PROHIBITING HIM FROM NOT BEING ABLE TO DO WHAT HE PLEEFRS IN?

Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson): THE SENATOR FROM ROANOKE CITY.

[Unknown]: MR. PRESIDENT, I RESPOND TO THAT, I THOUGHT I DID EARLIER, THAT A MINISTER OF A CHURCH IS NOT -- HAS FREE -- HAS THE RIGHT TO FREELY EXPRESS HIS RELIGION OR HER RELIGION, AND IF THAT RELIGION DOES NOT AUTHORIZE CERTAIN TYPES OF MARRIAGES, THAT -- THERE'S NOTHING THAT WOULD REQUIRE A MINISTER, CLERGYMAN, TO VIOLATE HIS OR HER SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. THAT IS DIFFERENT THAN A NON-RELIGIOUS PERSON WHO'S AUTHORIZED BY THE STATE TO PERFORM CEREMONIES, RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES, AND THAT PERSON DOING A CIVIL CEREMONY, A CIVIL MARRIAGE CEREMONY, IS REQUIRED TO FOLLOW THE U.S. CONSTITUTION. AND THERE'S A DIFFERENCE. SO THAT PERSON IS -- IF N A CLERGYMAN, THAT'S ONE THING. IF THEY'RE NOT A CLERGYMAN AND THEY'RE JUST SIMPLY AUTHORIZED BY THE STATE TO ACT AS THE STATE IN SOLEMNIZING MARRIAGE CEREMONIES, THEN THAT'S IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION. I THINK THE U.S. -- THE KENTUCKY EXAMPLE IS RATE ON POINT. MR. PRESIDENT, WOULD THE GENTLEMAN YAELD FOR ANOTHER QUESTION? HE YIELDS, SENATOR. I'LL BE GLAD TO. THE WAY I UNDERSTAND THE GENTLEMAN'S ANSWER, IF I GET IT RIGHT, EVEN THOUGH THROUGH THIS SECTION WE REQUIRE INDIVIDUALS TO BE LICENSED TO PERFORM MARRIAGE CEREMONIES, BECAUSE OF THAT DEEPLY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEF OF A PASTOR, HE CAN CHOOSE NOT TO MARRY. BUT YET, WE'RE TELLING -- YOU'RE TELLING ME I CAN'T HAVE A DEEPLY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEF, YOU'RE TELLING A JUDGE HE CAN'T HAVE A DEEPLY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEF. HOW DOES THAT DIFFER? THE SENATOR FROM ROANOKE CITY. JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE IN A CIVIL SERVANT STANDING. MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD BE HAPPY TO ANSWER THE QUESTION. MR. PRESIDENT, WHEN A PASTOR OR MINISTER CARRIES OUT A RELIGIOUS CEREMONY, HE'S EXPRESSING HIS RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. A RELIGIOUS MARRIAGE CEREMONY IS A RELIGIOUS ACT, AN EXPRESSION OF HIS RELIGION AND NOBODY COULD TELL HIM NOT TO EXPRESS HIS RELIGION BELIEF. IF I'S ACTING NOT AS -- HE'S ACTING NOT AS A RELIGIOUS OFFICIAL, BUT RATHER A CIVIL SERVANT OR AN INDIVIDUAL CARRYING OUT A CIVIL MARRIAGE CEREMONY AND NOT RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES, THEN THE SAME PROTECTIONS BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT DON'T APPLY BECAUSE HE'S NOT EXPRESSING HIS RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE. MR. PRESIDENT, ONE FINAL QUESTION. ONE ADDITIONAL QUESTION. IF I'M UNDERSTANDING THE GENTLEMAN CORRECTLY, HE'S CARRYING OUT -- AND I BELIEVE I RECALL HIM SAYING MARRIAGE IS A RELIGIOUS ACT. AND THAT RELIGIOUS ACT, BECAUSE IT'S A DEEP HELD CONVICTION OF THAT INDIVIDUAL, HE THEN MUST BE DISAGREE WITH THE OPINION OF THE CIRCUIT -- OR THE SUPREME COURT BECAUSE THE SUPREME COURT DIDN'T LOOK AT IT IN THAT SENSE AND HOW IS HE DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN ALL THOSE OTHER INDIVIDUALS AND WE AS A STATE ARE REQUIRING THESE MINISTERS TO BE LICENSED, SO WE ARE VIOLATING THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEF. MR. PRESIDENT. THE SENATOR FROM ROANOKE AGAIN, I THOUGHT IT MADE IT CITY. CLEAR. IF YOU'RE ACTING ON BEHALF OF YOUR CHURCH, YOU'RE ACTING, CARRYING OUT A RELIGIOUS CEREMONY, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT OF FREE EXPRESSION OF YOUR RELIGION. IN THE CASE OF A CIVIL CEREMONY THAT'S NOT CARRIED OUT AS A RELIGIOUS CEREMONY AND THE PERSON DOESN'T HAVE TO DO IT, FIRST OF ALL, BUT YOU CANNOT SAY I WILL CARRY OUT A CIVIL MARRIAGE CEREMONY, NOT A RELIGIOUS CEREMONY, YOU'RE NOT EXPRESSING YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. YOU HAVE A DUTY TO FOLLOW THE LAW. OTHERWISE, IT'S LIKE THE CLERK OF COURT DOWN IN KENTUCKY WHO WAS ORRED BY THE JUDGE TO ISSUE THOSE LICENSES. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE SENATOR FROM BUCKINGHAM, SENATOR GARRETT.

Sen. Tom Garrett (R-Lynchburg): MR. PRESIDENT, I DIDN'T INTEND TO RISE TO SPEAK TO THIS BILL. SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA, HOWEVER, THERE'S A CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR ROLLING AROUND ON THE FLOOR BEATING HIMSELF ABOUT THE HEAD AND SHOULDERS. BECAUSE I THINK WHAT I'VE HEARD IS AN ARGUMENT -- I'M SORRY, PARDON ME. I THINK WHAT I'VE HEARD AS ARGUMENT THAT SAYS IF THE CONSTITUTION PROPECTS THE RIGHT OF CLERGY MEMBERS DIFFERENT THAN THE PROTECTS THE RIGHT MUCH NON-CLERGY MEMBERS. I'VE NEVER HEARD THAT IDEA ADVANCED BEFORE IN MY LIFE. IF YOU'D LIKE SOME LIGHT READING, MAYBE CHECK OUT FIFTH AMENDMENT AND 14th AMENDMENT, EQUAL PROTECTION, AND THEN LOOK FOR THE PART IN THE CONSTITUTION WHERE IT SAYS THOSE CONCEPTS ARE APPLIED DIFFERENTLY BASED ON YOUR PROFESSION OR TRAINING OR THE CONTEXT OF WHAT YOU'RE DOING BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT. AND THAT'S THE ARGUMENT BEING MADE HERE. IN FACT, AGAIN, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, I THINK SOME OF THE ARGUMENTS WE HEARD ACTUALLY MAKES THE CASE FOR THE LAW. LITERALLY MAKES THE CASE FOR THE LAW. THE CONSTITUTION DOESN'T DIFFERENT YEPTATE WHETHER YOU'RE FARMER OR A WEAVER OR A BRICK LAYER OR A CAKE MAKER OR A PASTOR AS IT RELATES TO EQUAL PROTECTION OR DUE PROCESS OR THE ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE WHICH FREES CONGRESS, A LEGISLATIVE BODY SHALL MAKE NO LAWS ESTABLISHING RELIGION MORE PROHIBITING THE FREE PRACTICE THEREOF. THAT I JUST HEARD AN INTELLIGENT, ARTICULATE PERSON SUGGEST THAT THERE'S A DIFFERENT CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION FOR ONE MEMBER OF AMERICAN SOCIETY THAN FOR ANOTHER IS BEYOND MY BELIEF AND IT JUST MAKES IT THAT MUCH MORE SENSE THAT IF THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO SINCERELY BELIEVE THAT, WE NEED TO PASS THIS LAW. THANK YOU.

[Unknown]: THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM HENRICO, SENATOR McEACHIN.

Sen. Don McEachin (D-Richmond): I AGREE THAT THERE IS A CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR BEATING HIS HEAD, BUT NOT FOR THE REASON THAT THE SENATOR SUGGESTION. THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE HAS DONE A MASTERFUL JOB MAKING PEOPLE BELIEVE THIS BILL IS ALL ABOUT MARRIAGE. THIS BILL IS NOT ALL ABOUT MARRIAGE BECAUSE EVERYBODY IN THIS CHAMBER BELIEVES THAT NO ONE SHOULD FORCE ANYONE TO MARRY A COUPLE THAT THEY DON'T FEEL LIKE THEY OUGHT TO MARRY, BUT WHAT THE CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR IS BEATING THEMSELVES ABOUT THE HEAD ABOUT IS THAT "OR" CLAUSE THAT TALKS ABOUT FACILITIES, ACCOMMODATIONS, PUT IN LEGAL PAR LANCE, INTERSTATE COMMERCE, AND WHAT WE ARE PREPARING TO DO, IF THE VOTE IS THE SAME AS IT WAS BEFORE, WE'RE PREPARING TO SAY FORGET INTERSTATE COMMERCE CLAUSE, WE'RE GOING TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO DISCRIMINATE BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO ALLOW THEM NOT TO OPEN UP FACILITIES OR ACCOMMODATIONS. READ HOTELS OR RESTAURANTS OR THINGS OF THAT NATURE. WE'RE GOING TO PROHIBIT THAT OR ALLOW THAT TO BE THE SUBJECT OF SCRIM MA TOER CONDUCT BY THIS LEGISLATION. OH, YES, IT WILL BE OVERTURNED, BUT FIRST OF ALL, IT WILL NEVER BE SIGNED INTO LAW, SO YOU CAN HIDE BEHIND THAT VOTE. YOU CAN THROW OUT YOUR GREEN VOTE, FORGET YOU WENT TO LAW SCHOOL, FORGET ALL THE STUFF YOU LEARNED ABOUT THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE CLAUSE BECAUSE THE GENTLEMAN IN THE THIRD FLOOR WILL SAVE YOU AND VETO THIS BILL AND WE WILL SUSTAIN THAT VEE, BUT EVEN IF THAT WERE NOT TO HAVE HAPPENED, IT WILL SURELY BE OVERTURNED UNDER INTERSTATE COMMERCE CLAUSE LAW. YES, MR. PRESIDENT, THERE IS A CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR BEATING HIMSELF ABOUT THE HEAD, BUT IT'S NOT FOR THE REASONS THAT THE SENATOR FROM BUCKINGHAM SUGGESTS. IT'S FOR REASONS THAT WE'RE FIXING TO VIOLATE INTERSTATE COMMERCE CLAUSE.

[Unknown]: THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM FAIRFAX, SENATOR SASLAW.

Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Springfield): MR. PRESIDENT, THIS BILL ESSENTIALLY ISN'T WORTH THE PAPER IT'S WRITTEN ON. EVERYBODY IN HERE KNOWS IT. NUMBER ONE, THE PEOPLE WHO -- THE CLERGY ARE ALREADY PROTECTED. NOW, THAT'S NOT EVEN AN ISSUE. I'LL JUST TELL YOU THIS. I'D HATE TO BE THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE LAST BEEN MARRYING PEOPLE AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN SAYS NO, WHAT HAPPENED TO KIM DAVIS, NOW THAT THE SITUATION WE HAVE NOW IN THIS COUNTRY, WHAT HAPPENED TO KIM DAVIS IS GOING TO BE A WALK IN THE PARK. HE'S GOING TO GET SLAPPED IN JAIL AND THAT LOCAL GOVERNMENT THAT EMPLOYED HIM AND WRITING HIS PAYCHECK, THEY'RE GOING TO GET HIT PROBABLY WITH A PRETTY SEVERE FINE AND IF YOU DON'T THINK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN COLLECT IT, THEY CAN AND THIS IS HOW. THEY WHOLE YOUR HIGHWAY MONEY, OKAY? -- WITHHOLD YOUR HIGHWAY MONEY. OKAY? ALL WE'RE DOING IS SETTING UP SOME POOR SAP WHO'S GOING TO BELIEVE WHAT HE READS IN THIS BILL EVER BECAME LAW, WHICH IT WON'T. WE'RE SETTING THEM UP TO WIND UP JUST THE SAME WAY KIM DAVIS DID AND THAT'S BEHIND BARS WHERE THEY BELONG.

[Unknown]: THANK YOU, SENATOR. THE SENATOR FROM SPOTSYLVANIA, SENATOR REEVES.

Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania): THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I KNOW THERE ARE SOME MORE -- I WOULD CALL THE QUESTION.

[Unknown]: THE PENNING QUESTION, SENATOR?

Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania): CALL THE PENDING QUESTION, MR. PRESIDENT.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE MOTION ON THE FLOOR IS TO CALL THE PENDING QUESTION. RECORD THEIR VOTES AYE, THOSE ARE THE SENATORS READY TO VOTE? OPPOSED NO. HAVE ALL THE SENATORS VOTED? DO ANY SENATORS DESIRE TO CHANGE THEIR VOTE? THE CLERK WILL CLOSE THE ROLL.

[Unknown]: AYES 34, NOS 6. AYES 34, NOS 6, THE MOTION IS AGREED TO. THE SENATOR FROM MECKLENBERG. MR. PRESIDENT, I RENEW MY MOTION FOR THE BILL TO PASS.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE QUESTION IS SHALL HOUSE BILL 773 ALL IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION WILL RECORD THEIR VOTES AYE, THOSE OPPOSED NO.


[Unknown]: THE SENATE CONCURS WITH THE HOUSE SUBSTITUTE. SENATE BILL 466 PASSED THE HOUSE WITH A SUBSTITUTE. THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM VIRGINIA BEACH, SENATOR WAGNER. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. THIS BILL DEALS WITH THE RIGHTS OF AN INCAPACITY TATED PERSON TO HAVE COMMUNICATION WITH


Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock): THIS BILL SPECIFICALLY DEALT WITH DISCRIMINATORY ACTIONS THAT ADVERSELY AFFECT THE TAX TREATMENT OF PERSONS THAT WITHHELD OTHERWISE -- OR THAT WERE WITHHELD. BOTH THE ORIGINAL BILL AS INTRODUCED AND AS PASSED BY THE HOUSE BROADLY DEFINES THE WORD PERSON TO INCLUDE NOT ONLY INDIVIDUALS BUT CORPORATIONS, ASSOCIATIONS, PARTNERSHIPS, AND ORGANIZATIONS. HOWEVER, THE SENATE SUBSTITUTE CHANGES THE FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSE OF THE BILL AND SPEAKS ONLY TO THE SOLEMNIZATION OF MARRIAGE BY CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS, AND THE ACTIONS OF INDIVIDUALS EMPLOYED BY A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION IN THE SCOPE OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT. AND ACCORDINGLY, I WOULD RULE THAT THE SUBSTITUTE IS NOT GERMANE.

[Unknown]: PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY, MR. SPEAKER.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN MAY STATE IT.

[Unknown]: WHAT WOULD BE THE POSTURE OF THE UNDERLYING LEGISLATION? WE'LL JUST COMMUNICATE IT BACK TO THE SENATE AND SEE WHAT THEY DO. THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER. THE CLERK WILL CONTINUE WITH THE CALENDAR. CONTINUING WITH THE CALENDAR, HOUSE BILL 883, A BILL TO AMEND AND REENACT A SECTION OF THE CODE OF VIRGINIA RELATING TO COMPREHENSIVE PLAN, BILL PASSED THE HOUSE ORIGINALLY FEBRUARY 16, PASSED THE SENATE WITH AMENDMENT ON MARCH SEVEN.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN FROM SALEM, MR. HABEEB.

Del. Greg Habeeb (R-Salem): MR. SPEAKER, HOUSE BILL 883 PASSED THIS BODY UNANIMOUSLY. IN A MOMENT I'M GOING TO ASK YOU TO ACCEPT THE AMENDMENT FROM THE SENATE BUT SOME OF

Comments

Equality Virginia, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

Equality Virginia opposes this bill.

ACLU-VA LGBT Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes this bill. This bill offers individuals, businesses and government entities a broad-based license to discriminate against LGBT Virginians. It is not a nondiscrimination act; it is a discrimination protection act. At a time when we should be working to end discrimination against all LGBT Virginians, and in a state where the overwhelming majority of Virginians agree that such discrimination should end, this and other bills introduced this session are nothing more than ineffective, mean-spirited efforts to deny LGBT people in Virginia their constitutional and human rights.

ACLU-VA Legislative Agenda, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes this bill. This bill offers individuals, businesses and government entities a broad-based license to discriminate against LGBT Virginians. It is not a nondiscrimination act; it is a discrimination protection act. At a time when we should be working to end discrimination against all LGBT Virginians, and in a state where the overwhelming majority of Virginians agree that such discrimination should end, this and other bills introduced this session are nothing more than ineffective, mean-spirited efforts to deny LGBT people in Virginia their constitutional and human rights.