Watch the full video below of the House Subcommittee that voted to table and therefore kill SB701 – the bill that would have protected lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender state employees from discrimination.
Vote to Table SB701 from House General Laws Subcommittee #4 Professions/Occupations & Administrative Process
YAY – Gilbert (R-15), Cox (R-55), Farrell (R-56), Knight (R-81), Peace (R-97)
NAY – McQuinn (D-70)
ABSTAIN – Torian (D-52)
NOT PRESENT – Rush (R-7)
Take Action Now
If you live in one of these delegate’s districts, you can complete our online action here. A phone and e-mail list is provided below of those voted to table or abstained.
Del. Barry D. Knight | DelBKnight@house.virginia.gov | 804.698.1081
Del. C. Todd Gilbert | DelTGilbert@house.virginia.gov | 804.698.1015
Del. Christopher K. Peace | DelCPeace@house.virginia.gov | 804.698.1097
Del. John A. Cox | DelJCox@house.virginia.gov | 804.698.1097
Del. Peter F. Farrell | DelPFarrell@house.virginia.gov | 804.698.1056
Del. Luke Torian | DelLTorian@house.virginia.gov | 804.698.1052
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Del. Todd Gilbert
“I’ve heard this bill several years in a row. Among all the people who spoke, there was not a single example of one that was discriminated against in public employment. I challenge those in the room to bring forth an example.
I was told the following year that there would be a line out the door of people with examples of having been discriminated against in public employment. There was not a single example anyone that felt that except that abstract fear that we’ve heard testified here today.
I heard the gentlewoman today say that Virginia Commonwealth – VCU is this oppressive and intolerant environment. I dare say that’s probably not true. The examples we’ve heard from today have actually reaffirmed that people are interested in coming to Virginia and engaging in careers here and are thriving in the process of engaging in those careers.
I think the many people that testify in their roles in higher education demonstrate that there is no problem this bill solves and once again, we’ve heard from many people about this specter of oppression that really doesn’t exist because we don’t have a single example of anyone who has been discriminated against for this reason.”
Del. Delores McQuinn
“Mr. Chairman. During the testimony, my mind started wandering about times over the years – some situations that I’ve encountered. I know my good friend over there [referring to Gilbert] has talked about how no one has proven, but there have been times where I’ve been discriminated against and if I had to go to the courts to prove it, it was going to be difficult.
So often proving discrimination is a very difficult thing to do, but I just wanted to share a little situation that encountered. A young lady that I met in the neighborhood – I met the young lady because of my dog was attracted to her dog and after about six or eight months, we were meeting at the park and having the dogs playing and whatnot.
Finally, I think she got to the point that she felt comfortable enough to tell me something about her that I wasn’t aware of and that she was gay. She was a lesbian. She told me that she worked for the hospital. She was a psychiatrist. How much she had gone to school and had done additional things in her life and one day, she told me she was leaving Virginia. I asked her why not stay here and find a job, I’ll do whatever I can, I’ll write you a letter of reference and she said to me – “Virginia does not protect people like me.”
My mind went back to that day. If we have talented folks that have testified today that feel they do not have the comfort level and the support and the protection they need here in the State of Virginia – my good friend – if there are people who say that they don’t have the protections, then we need to do something about it. It’s easy for a white male to feel that it’s “those” folks who are the problem because most white males can go wherever they desire. Nobody will follow you, nobody will really accuse you a lot of times of things. It’s easy for you to say, but discrimination is live and well and if there is anyone being discriminated against, then we should feel obligated to do something about it and protect folks who feel they are being discriminate against or there’s a possibility that they are being discriminated against, we should protect them.”
“Mr. Chair. In response, again after many years and events, I still haven’t heard an example of someone who says I was discriminated against because of my sexual orientation and that’s true today.”