When the General Assembly convenes tomorrow, there will be at least one social issue that the media and the radical secular left will be promoting — adding sexual orientation to the Commonwealth's "non-discrimination" laws. While spun by groups like Equality Virginia as simply allowing "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) Virginians to be who they are, have a more secure financial future and build stronger families," changing the Commonwealth's current law to be even more expansive than federal protections brings a host of problems to Virginia. Current Virginia non-discrimination laws mirror federal law for a variety of reasons, including court precedent. In Virginia, evidence that discrimination against homosexuals is taking place in state government, or anywhere for that matter, is less than compelling. According to the Department of Human Resource Management, which tracks allegations of discrimination, from 1992 forward there were 24 registered complaints based on sexual orientation, amounting for fewer than 2 per year. Among these 24 complaints in an 18-year period, not all complaints can be assumed to be founded. In fact, from July 1, 2009 – March 9, 2010, only three complaints of sexual orientation discrimination were filed; and as of the March date, none had been deemed "founded."
Even The Washington Post admits that . . .
thousands of homosexuals work in state government.
Testimony on this kind of legislation in past General Assembly sessions has essentially been about a "fear" of discrimination, a fear not based on actual incidents of discrimination. Sadly, much of that fear is fueled more by the scare tactic fundraising efforts of groups like Equality Virginia than it is by reality. Unfortunately, while Governor Bob McDonnell has made it expressly clear that discrimination in his administration will not be tolerated, and evidence of discrimination is non-existent, some homosexual state workers live in fear because of the rhetoric of homosexual rights groups. In fact, a few weeks ago, Equality Virginia sent out a fundraising e-mail alert focusing on our opposition to adding sexual orientation to "non-discrimination" laws.
Unfortunately, recent incidents across the nation have exposed the agenda of militant homosexual rights groups as being about far more than "equality" or "stronger families." It is very clear, after viscous rhetorical attacks on businesses that simply adhere to a traditional view of family structure, the attempted public humiliation and job discrimination against people who simply sign petitions that support marriage amendments, or the attempt to force faith-based ministries that help families and children to abandon their beliefs about family structure, there is far more to the "non-discrimination" effort that meets the eye.
While theoretically, the General Assembly will attempt to avoid "social issues" at the bequest of political pundits and the media, it will be interesting to see if those same media types and pundits label the "non-discrimination" effort as "distracting" and "divisive" social issues that should be avoided. Regardless, we will stand up to the hateful rhetoric of the secular left and encourage the General Assembly to maintain our current law.