Democratic lawmakers in Virginia are celebrating passage of “anti-discrimination” legislation protecting homosexuals, lesbians, and transgenders, but an opponent of the measure predicts people of faith know what happens next and will fight back.
"This could not be more devastating to people of faith," Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation of Virginia, says of HB 1663 that passed in the state's Senate and House this week.
Each chamber must consider the other's bills then send them to Gov. Ralph Northam for his signature.
The Associated Press predictably described the measure as “comprehensive, anti-discrimination” legislation and explained:
The legislation prohibits discrimination in housing, public or private employment, public spaces and credit transactions on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It also lays out causes of action that would allow individuals or, in certain circumstances the attorney general, to sue over alleged discrimination.
Cobb’s reaction to the measure: Lawmakers are “weaponizing” the state government to punish Christians who are “living out their faith” in their churches, family businesses, and Christian schools.
It’s not hyperbole to suggest such punishment is coming, either, since the AP story acknowledges Virginia’s attorney general will be given legal authority -- in "certain circumstances" -- to sue and punish them.
Cobb says Virginians are aware by now of similar laws in other states that punished bakery owner Jack Phillips (pictured at left) in Colorado, and florist Barronelle Stuzman in Washington, for example, with the courts repeatedly ruling in favor of the laws over First Amendment claims of religious liberty.
The AP story trumpeted the votes this week as bipartisan and quoted a GOP state senator, Jill Vogel, who said the legislation addresses religious liberty.
“I can assure you that if we embrace equality and protect everybody equally under the law,” Vogel told fellow senators, “we will be a better community.”
As evidenced by Christians such as Jack Phillips, however, non-discrimination laws that “embrace equality” routinely punish people who disagree with the state’s new definition of equality.
Cobb tells OneNewsNow that Family Foundation is ready for a court fight, too: A fired school teacher is already suing after refusing to use a transgender student’s preferred pronoun.
With the number of churches, Christian schools, and Christian universities in the state, Cobb predicts a “litany of lawsuits” over the coming state law.
Virginia is outpacing California
OneNewsNow reported in late January that Virginians marched by the thousands to protest sweeping anti-gun legislation, and a second story days later reported that Democrats were rolling back pro-life laws that had been in place for decades.
Cobb says the state’s Democratic leaders are working so quickly they are outpacing what took the state of California – famous for its far-left politicians – years to accomplish.
"You name it, [Democrats] are moving quickly," Cobb says. "They are not giving enough debate. People are not willing to actually have the substantive conversations, and in many cases they're actually cutting off the opportunity for amendments and so forth because they simply don't want to have to defend what they believe.”