Virginia VOICE April 2016
Released: Tuesday, May 03, 2016
SAVE THE DATE!
September 15-16, 2016 ONE Voice for Liberties Conference
At Landmark Baptist Church, Richmond, VA
Veto Session Update
Most introduced legislation does not become law. Only about eight hundred of the over thirty-one hundred became law this year. Does this mean our legislature is ineffective? Absolutely not! It means that the process works. Yet there is still work to be done-- next year. Now to specifics. The prospects of overriding Gov. McAuliffe’s vetoes did not look good and in the end none of his vetoes were overridden. VAIB was most disappointed over the following bills which did not pass:
- SB41 (Bill Carrico) to protect ministers and religious entities who hold to traditional marriage and oppose LGBT lifestyles.
- HB1090 (Ben Cline) to channel state funds to non-abortion health providers.
- HB512 (Steve Landes) to inform parents when students were give assignments with sexually explicit material and to allow for alternate assignments.
Budget amendments: Fortunately, a few of the governor’s budget changes were overridden. Language to insure that state money does not fund abortions was reinstated by the legislature as it only needed a simple majority vote.
On a related note, Del. Dave LaRock has been seeking clarification from Attorney General Herring on the definition of the term “sex” as it applies to current law. The delegate is concerned about the current application by some that “sex” can include sexual orientation or gender preference (transgender). After seven months of no response to his official requests, Del. LaRock has taken the only option he has left of taking the Attorney General to court to order him to respond. Elections have consequences and I hope that citizens of the Commonwealth will remember how our current Attorney General has neglected his obligation of defending our state Constitution.
Transgender Decision by the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
VAIB is disappointed by the decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to not uphold the lower court’s decision which dismissed the suit by the Gloucester transgender student regarding access to certain restrooms and locker rooms. Some in the news have touted this as a win for transgender individuals. This is not the case. It simply directs the lower court that it cannot dismiss the suit on the grounds stated, but must determine the merits on different legal precedence or allow the lawsuit to proceed. It does not remove or disannul the policy put in place by the local school board. However, there is the lawsuit regarding the law passed recently in North Carolina which may have more immediate impact. Our fear is that again a set of judges may create law requiring protections for sexual orientation which the Virginia legislature has withstood for many years.
What a blessing to be back in the churches! Carol and I truly enjoy reconnecting with pastors and people. Our schedule is filling, so contact our office to have us in your church (804-299-3986).
Are you registered for our ONE Voice for Liberties Conference?
Register online for our annual conference on September 15-16. Join us again at Landmark Baptist Church (Pastor Don Sumpter), 4000 Creighton Rd, Richmond VA 23223. The purpose of our conference is to fulfill our mission to Strengthen.Educate.Involve. This year there will be educational forums during the day and evening, as well as uplifting music and spiritually encouraging preaching. We plan to have a “Pastors’ choir” on Friday night, so we need pastors to come ready to sing!