On Tuesday, the House of Delegates passed two of The Family Foundation’s legislative priorities!
After contentious and emotional debate, the House passed HB 773, the Government Non-Discrimination Act, by a vote of 56-41. The legislation, patroned by Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15, Woodstock), seeks to ensure that religious charities and individuals who have deeply held beliefs about marriage and sexuality cannot be discriminated against by the government; a government that has chosen sides with sexual liberty in the battle between sex and religious freedom.
Sadly, opponents to the bill continue to contend that people of faith who simply believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, that children deserve both a mom and a dad whenever possible, and that sex should be reserved for marriage, are hateful bigots who want to discriminate. Emotional charges that believing in Biblical sexual ethics are akin to racism unfortunately persuade those who sit on newspaper editorial boards and less informed citizens. It is up to you and I to inform those around us that such beliefs are not discriminatory as some would like to believe, but are long standing truths that benefit society, and that religious charities that provide services should not be forced to condone behavior that offends their beliefs.
Please read more about the real purpose and effects of GNDA in my opinion piece from yesterday’s Richmond Times Dispatch.
Also today, the House passed HB 1090, a bill patroned by Delegate Ben Cline (R-24, Amherst) that redirects taxpayer funds away from the abortion industry toward more comprehensive health facilities like federally qualified health clinics. That bill passed 64-45.
HB 1090 simply ensures that hospitals, federally qualified health clinics and rural health clinics are funded with non-Medicaid dollars prior to abortion centers. There are well over 140 federally qualified and rural clinics in Virginia that offer the services women need, beyond the limited services offered at Virginia’s abortion centers. The clinics offer far more comprehensive services than niche abortion providers with none of the controversy. They also have facilities in rural parts of the state where the abortion industry does not.
Remarkably, opponents of HB 1090 called the bill “discriminatory” against Planned Parenthood! They also claim that Planned Parenthood offers “comprehensive” health care for women, when in fact the abortion giant does not provide mammograms, immunizations, screenings for multiple medical issues, or well-child services. To the abortion industry and its defenders, “comprehensive” means taking the lives of unborn children.
Both bills face fierce battles in the state Senate. There’s no doubt the opposition will paint supporters as “anti-LGBT” and “anti-women” with the assistance of editorialists. As they move through the legislative process, please make your voice heard when we call on you!