Our most recent marriage victory has incited madness among much of our opposition. Several Virginia lawmakers are preparing for battle in the name of religious freedoms. The scare tactic, which has absolutely no merit, that clergy will be required to marry same-sex couples when it goes against their religious beliefs, has helped rally the troops. That, along with business owners believing they should be allowed to not serve the total public, has enraged some of the rightwing masses. We have work to do.
According to a recent article in the Richmond Times Dispatch, Delegate C. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, stated that protecting religious freedoms is going to be the primary focus for the House Republicans in the 2016 General Assembly.
We all know what this means. Clergy continues to have the freedom to refuse to marry anyone, regardless of the reason. And that’s the way it should be. However, denying a customer services because of sexual orientation or gender identity is the same as denying someone services because of their race. Neither is chosen.
History is repeating itself. The same sort of antics took place when the Civil Rights Act was signed back in the 1960’s.
The time is now to loudly, constantly and clearly bring to the attention of the Virginia public the truth. The right’s scare tactics are working to a certain extent, as they always do. But we can once again win, as we have many times, by simply and often preaching the truth.
Please take the time to contact your legislator. Contact Equality Virginia and discuss their General Assembly plans. We can do this. We can defeat ignorance and injustice by simply telling the truth. Please join in.