The Virginia House of Representative voted (54 to 38) to pass House Bill (HB) 2025 —discriminatory legislation seeking to give taxpayer-funded agencies and service providers a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people under the guise of religion. The dangerous anti-LGBTQ proposal now heads to Governor Terry McAuliffe, who has promised to veto the bill.
HB 2025 could allow taxpayer-funded organizations, like homeless shelters and adoption agencies, to refuse service to same-sex couples, transgender people, and anyone suspected of having intimate relationships outside of a heterosexual marriage (such as single mothers or a cohabiting straight couple) without losing taxpayer funding, contracts, licensing, or other forms of state recognition.
Thankfully Governor McAuliffe vetoed a similar discriminatory proposal in 2016.
Virginia lawmakers should learn from the mistakes of North Carolina, where fallout over that state’s discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ HB2 law has been swift and severe. Following passage in March of 2016, HB2 triggered a national outcry of opposition and a broad range of voices continue to speak out demanding its full and complete repeal. The economic fallout alone includes hundreds of millions of dollars in lost business. In November, former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory became the only incumbent governor from either party to lose on Election Day specifically because he championed and signed HB2 into law.