Two bills aiming to limit transgender Virginians in bathrooms and schools KILLED in House subcommittee

Written on:January 20, 2017
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The following is an article from January 19th. Thank goodness there are delegates with some common sense for killing discriminatory policies:

Two bills aiming to limit transgender people in the Commonwealth failed a House subcommittee hearing today.

The two bills, authored by Manassas Republican Delegate Bob Marshall, had made headlines in the wake of similar bills causing economic and social fallout for North Carolina.

First up was HB 1612, also known as the Personal Privacy Act, would require people to use public restrooms and facilities that correspond with their “biological gender” that appears on their “original birth certificate.”

In a surprising twist, Marshall asked to amended the bill to remove the term “original” from the birth certificate tag.

Legislators have been developing language to control trans bathroom use as trans folks work through the complicated and expensive process of changing their gender markers on state IDs and birth certificates – Marshall’s is the first to require the “original” birth certificate gender to define where someone pees, but now, without that tag, it matches much of the legislation submitted around the country.

Marshall, repeating his argument from last week’s press conference, threatened the NCAA if they tried to boycott Virginia over the proposed bill, mocked criticism of North Carolina’s HB2, and warned of the dangers of letting a “biological male” into a women’s restroom.

The subcommittee voted by voice to leave the bill on the table, killing it for the season.

After the vote to kill the bill, Marshall pleaded with the committee to let there be a recorded vote, but he was silenced by committee Chair Delegate M. Keith Hodges   (R-98).

HB2011, Marshall’s second bill of the day deals with an issue he tried to get involved in last year, limiting school boards from passing inclusive non-discrimination policies. State law protects against “race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, age, marital status, or disability” and, under the Dillon Rule, according to Marshall, they shouldn’t be allowed to add sexual orientation or gender identity.

This bill was similarly laid on the table for the session by voice vote, effectively killing it.

“Defend your oath, vote for this bill,” pleaded Marshall. “I’m gonna pray you all get courage.”

When Marshall first submitted these bills, Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe told GayRVA he would veto any legislation that constrains the rights of Virginians “based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“As we saw in North Carolina, these bills don’t just hamper civil rights – they kill jobs. The Governor is hopeful that Republicans in the General Assembly will drop these counterproductive bills and turn their focus toward building a stronger and more equal Virginia economy.”

McAuliffe’s history of supporting LGBTQ issues is almost as long as Del. Bob Marshall’s history of opposing them. He protected state LGBTQ employees with his first executive order and has supported a state-wide tourism campaign aimed at attracting sexual minority visitors to the Commonwealth. He also, for the first time last year, issued a proclamation supporting the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

House Speaker William Howell, the Republican leader of the Virginia House, told the Washington Post  Marshall’s bills were “bob being bob,” and shrugged off most of the controversial and support LGBTQ bills.