Last night, the Prince William County School Board joined in the debate over protections for LGBT students in the public schools:
The Prince William County School Board on Wednesday held a public hearing on a proposal that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the district’s nondiscrimination policy.
The Albemarle, Arlington and Fairfax County School Districts specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies. The cities of Alexandria, Virginia Beach, Charlottesville and Richmond have also implemented these measures in their schools.
Opponents contend Virginia law — and specifically the Dillon Rule — prohibits the Prince William County School Board and other school boards from adding sexual orientation and gender identity to its nondiscrimination policy unless the General Assembly were to pass a statute allowing them to do so.
Virginia’s statewide nondiscrimination law does not include sexual orientation or gender identity.
Attorney General Mark Herring wrote in an opinion he released in March 2015 that state law does allow school boards to add sexual orientation and gender identity to their nondiscrimination. State Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County)’s bill that would have prevented municipalities from enacting anti-LGBT discrimination measures did not make it out of the Virginia House of Delegates General Laws Committee earlier this year.
Marshall specifically criticized Herring on Wednesday as he spoke against the Prince William County proposal.
See below for some video from last night’s meeting. First, check out anti-LGBT bigot Del. “Sideshow Bob” Marshall (far-right “R”). According to “Sideshow Bob,” “When a boy thinks he’s a girl or vice versa, there’s some recognition of a fixed meaning to the terms male and female…Denying reality is something that we should not encourage our students to do. Persons who experience gender confusion will not benefit from this policy…[This policy]…looks like a club to punish or evict people from the public square who respect the vision of the Founders…What problem is this supposed to fix?…Will sexual attitude restructuring education take place?” Of course, this is just the usual, fearmongering, bigoted bull**** from “Sideshow Bob.” The question is, why are the “Sideshow Bob”s of the world so obsessed with denying protections and equal rights under the law to LGBT people? For more on that subject, check out the first speaker in the next video.
The first speaker in the next video really nails it. First, he notes that almost all “of the largest employers in PW County…have sexual orientation and gender identity included in their official, written nondiscrimination statements.” He notes incredulously that the PW County Public Schools are even behind Comcast. As for “Sideshow Bob” and other anti-LGBT bigots obsessed with this issue, check this out.
A note about people who have been trying to scare you. I’ve seen them before. Not metaphorically, they’re in the room. These are actual people. I saw them when they told me my relationship – and now all 50 state marriage – by definition could not last. I saw them when they said that this was just a phase and I could change my orientation if I tried hard enough. I saw them when they told me that I was a “crime against nature.” I saw them when they called me “intrinsically disordered.”..These people have been here before and they are here for the same reason they were here before. Do not believe that it is about some people using a bathroom. This is just the latest in the proxy war and now that they’ve lost the fight to stop me from being legally married, bless their hearts, they need something to keep ’em going. Please do not be fooled and move confidently forward to support ALL students and ALL staff in creating safe communities where all can achieve.
So, so true.
Finally, check out Don Shaw, who ran in 2015 against “Sideshow Bob,” stressing that there are “still members of our society who are marginalized or worse…just because of who they are.” Shaw urged the Prince William County School Board to do whatever it can to protect LGBT students in its system. “They’re our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters…it’s time to stand up and be counted” and expand protections to the LGBT community. “Which side of history are you on?” Let’s hope the board comes out on the right side of history when it votes on September 21.