The following is an emotional, powerful speech by openly gay Del. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax) against far-right-wing Del. Todd Gilbert’s appalling HB 773, the Orwellian-named “Government Nondiscrimination Act.” In fact, as Del. Sickles correctly explains, this bill isn’t about “nondiscrimation,” but “it IS a discrimination bill…that is going to hurt our state.”
Del. Sickles then proceeds to cite example after example of major corporations, law firms, etc, etc. who sponsor the Equality Virginia annual dinner, and more broadly who support full equality for all their employees.
What’s amazing is that anyone could actually defend the bigoted garbage in Gilbert’s bill, let alone after an extraordinary speech like Sickles’, but that’s exactly what Gilbert attempts to do, whining about how bullies like him are actually the ones “constantly under attack,” that it’s not about “equality” but about “people of faith [being] driven out of this discourse…made to cower…to be in fear of speaking their minds…of living up to their deeply-held religious beliefs.”
Of course, that’s utterly unAmerican crap; in this country, fortunately, we are NOT a theocracy, but a democracy with the rule of law, where ALL men (and women) are created equal, and where EVERY citizen must be treated equally under the law, as spelled out in our constitution. What about any of this is difficult for bigots like Todd Gilbert to understand? Got me, but thankfully public opinion has dramatically shifted against the Gilberts of the world, and it’s not going back to the dark ages anytime soon.
P.S. In addition to Del. Sickles’ superb speech, check out the stirring words by Delegates Vivian Watts and Alfonso Lopez. As for Del. “Sideshow Bob” Marshall (R), I’d strongly recommend you just ignore him; it’s not worth 5 minutes of your life to listen to this guy.