Home GLBT Issues Va. Right-Wing Republicans Introduce Bills Making It Harder to Vote, Go to...

Va. Right-Wing Republicans Introduce Bills Making It Harder to Vote, Go to the Bathroom

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There were two godawful bills introduced today in the Virginia General Assembly. Not surprisingly, both came from right-wing Republican members: 1) from Del. Mark Cole, requiring “proof of citizenship” to vote in state and local elections (why???); 2) cracking down on that scourge of transgender kids heeding the call of nature (that one comes from our old pal “Sideshow Bob” Marshall, who also has legislation to declare pornography a “public health hazard.” Check them out below. Also, make sure we do NOT allow Republicans to win the Governor’s mansion in 2017; for now, we have Gov. McAuliffe to veto crap like this, but if we have Gov. Gillespie or Gov. Stewart or whatever, watch out.

  • Kenny Allen Boddye

    These bills – and many others already pre-filed by General Assembly Republicans – are unacceptable, regressive, and definitely unpatriotic. They are obvious attempts to score points with a concerned ideological base rather than actually solve underlying issues or improve the lives of Virginians.

    I could talk ad nauseum about the unnecessary and obviously discriminatory nature of the bathroom bill, but instead I will say this – we need to put in affirmative protections for our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community, especially students. That means repealing Delegate Marshall’s namesake amendment which currently does not allow us to pass any nondiscrimination legislation for same-sex couples; it also means nondiscrimination legislation for teachers and students so they are protected at school.

    As for the proof of citizenship bill, it’s yet another attempted blow at voting rights and is an unveiled attempt to racially profile and disenfranchise New Americans and communities of color. Instead of making folks produce their papers to exercise their right to vote (you need proof of identity when registering to vote anyway!), why aren’t we talking about EXPANDING voting? Same day registration, actual early voting, eliminating the need to have a certain reason to request a mail-in absentee ballot. We should want MORE of our fellow citizens involved in the political process, not less.

    Misplaced priorities abound. We need to change it, and that’s why I’m running for the 51st. http://www.KenBoddyeForVA.com

    • Great comment, you nailed it!

  • Classic craziness from Virginia Del. “Sideshow Bob” Marshall.

    January 5, 2017

    Statement of Delegate Bob Marshall on HB 1612, to Promote Safe Spaces and Physical Privacy in Schools and Government Buildings

    How would a loving dad react if he saw a grown man follow his nine-year-old daughter into a bathroom at a state park? Would parents want their 14-year-old daughters on the school swim team taking showers with 17-year-old biological males in a public school locker room? Would women feel safe stopping at an Interstate rest stop knowing biological males could use the women’s bathroom?

    Because identifying as transgender is how an individual perceives themselves how can a biological female third party possibly distinguish between a transgender individual who means no harm and a male predator using the ladies room who does intend harm?

    It is because of situations like this that more than six hundred parents and students in Prince William County and many more in Fairfax County attended meetings to oppose changes in school policies which would have allowed biological males to use the bathrooms, dressing rooms, locker rooms, and showers set aside for females, and vice-versa.

    In response to that outpouring of concern for the safety and privacy of our children, I have introduced HB 1612 to preserve current law to prevent schools and government entities from changing policies that protect privacy in facilities normally separated by sex.

    Sadly, some news outlets “report” without reading or understanding the text of HB 1612. North Carolina passed a law which went beyond my bill, applying to private businesses, and still North Carolina came in as the #2 state for doing business, according to Forbes Magazine for 2016.

    North Carolina had a $425 Million Surplus for the previous fiscal year and a surplus of $191 Million in the first third of the current fiscal year. Obviously, their legislation did not affect jobs and the state’s economy as some claim. (Virginia is # 6 on Forbes’ list.)

    HB 1612 differs from the North Carolina bill in two respects:
    · HB 1612 only applies to government-owned and rented buildings, not to private institutions or businesses.
    · HB 1612 allows accommodation for transgendered persons to use single stall restrooms.

    Federal courts agree that separation of the sexes for bathrooms, dressing rooms, locker rooms and showers are not sex discrimination.

    A 2009 case, Kastl v. Maricopa County Community College District, rejected the claim of a man who identified as transgender prohibiting him from using the women’s restroom for safety reasons.

    In 2015, a Pennsylvania federal court, in Johnston v. The University of Pittsburgh found that “a university’s policy of requiring students to use sex-specific bathrooms and locker facilities based on student’s natal or birth sex, rather than their gender identity, does not violate Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination.”

    The Missouri Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal of a female student claiming a male identity, who sued under Title IX and state law to gain access to the male restrooms, in R.M.A. vs. Blue Springs R-IV School District.

    Regulations implementing Title IX as well as the vast majority of case law applying Title IX explicitly permit school districts to regulate access to restroom and locker room facilities based on the student’s biological sex without violating transgendered students’ rights under Title IX.

    The Virginia Constitution provides “the mere separation of the sexes shall not be considered discrimination.” (Article I, Section 11.)

    Eleven families in Virginia, Minnesota, have gone to federal court because “a transgendered student engaged in twerking, grinding, and all sorts of scurrilous activity in the girls’ locker room.” (Fox News, 9/7/15).

    In suburban Chicago, a group of parents and students sued the U.S. Department of Education and Illinois’ largest high school district after school officials granted transgender students access to the girl’s locker room. (The Chicago Tribune, 5/5/16)

    If Virginia localities implement policies allowing biological males to use bathroom and locker room facilities with females and vise versa, those localities will also likely be embroiled in lawsuits costing taxpayers millions of dollars.

    As the author of the 2005 law in Virginia aiming to curtail bullying in school by notifying parents of those who bullied or were bullied, I believe there is no place for bullying. My job is to preserve the common good and to respond to the will of my constituents. From what I have experienced, there is very little support for, and much more opposition to allowing students of the opposite sex, who may dress as or identify as the opposite sex, to use these private facilities indiscriminately.

    It is no surprise that the LGBTQ advocacy groups disagree with the hundreds of parents I met and the many more who attended the school board meetings.

    I believe that the clear majority of parents and students want their personal privacy protected in bathrooms, lockers, dressing rooms, and showers. This is common sense and it is shocking that there is even controversy over keeping such spaces safe and separated by sex.