ADF: Proposed VA bills undermine opportunities for women, erode civil rights


Friday, January 24, 2020

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor regarding a series of bills passed Thursday in the Virginia House of Delegates Housing/Consumer Protection Subcommittee that threaten to undermine opportunities for women and erode civil rights:

“Every Virginian deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, laws that elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes have a proven record of undermining both fairness and freedom for all citizens. While Virginia’s delegates claim that their new legislation would stamp out such discrimination in public accommodations, housing, and employment, these bills actually promise to harm women and girls, undercut the First Amendment, and place a special burden on people of faith.

“In states and local communities across the nation, laws similar to the proposals advancing in Virginia have empowered the government to force people who willingly serve everyone to promote messages and participate in events that violate their faith or convictions. Such laws also put women and girls in real danger. In Alaska, the city of Anchorage tried to use a similar law to force a women’s shelter to allow biological men who identify as women to sleep just three feet away from victims of rape, sex trafficking, and domestic violence.

“Whether they intend to or not, Virginia lawmakers who support sexual orientation and gender identity bills are choosing to coerce uniformity of thought and speech on beliefs about marriage, sex, and gender. That’s a dangerous path, and we respectfully ask Virginia lawmakers to exercise tolerance and respect for the good-faith disagreements we hold across the commonwealth.”

Baylor testified on the following bills before the Housing/Consumer Protection Subcommittee: HB 3, HB 7, HB 21, HB 23, and HB 217.
 
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
 
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