Virginia VOICE January 2016

Released: Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Dear Friend of VAIB,

The General Assembly has now met for fourteen days of its sixty-day session. Nearly two-hundred bills are on my “watch list.” I’ve spoken in several committees and to numerous legislators on bills.  At the end of this letter is an update of some of the bills VAIB is tracking. If you receive our weekly email updates, you will be familiar with this list. You can see more bills on our web site.

I want to emphasize that most of our work involves preventing bad laws from becoming a reality. So far, no CapitolALERTs have been sent out, but that may change since some bills which we hoped to stop are still active as are some bills we want to see become law. Of course, you’re welcome to contact your legislators anytime to express your wishes regarding bills.

Finally, pray for the following:

  • Scheduling churches for 2016 and beyond, especially nonsupporting/uninvolved churches.
  • More independent Baptist churches to become involved both through our email alerts and by financially supporting. We want to continue our outreach into new areas but cannot do so without an increase in support.
  • Developing the upcoming ONE Voice for Liberties Conference and scheduling speakers.

Your voice for Christian liberties!

Eddy Aliff
Executive Director

Let’s take a look at a few bills we OPPOSE:

HB5 (Marcus Simon-D) & SB10 (Adam Ebbin-D) Same-sex marriages; civil unions. Repeals the statutory prohibitions on same-sex marriages and civil unions or other arrangements between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges and obligations of marriage. HB5 has not yet been heard in House Courts. SB10 passed out of committee and is up for a vote by the full Senate.

HB94 (Kaye Kory-D) & SB648 (Barbara Favola-D) Abortion; informed written consent. Provides that a woman seeking an abortion may decline to participate with any of the procedures or processes required to effect the informed written consent, including the performance of ultrasound imaging, that must be obtained by the physician performing the abortion prior to the performance of the abortion. HB94 has not yet been heard in House Courts. SB648 has not yet been heard in Senate Education & Health.

HB427 (Patrick Hope-D) & SB262 (Scott Surovell-D) & SB267 (Rosalyn Dance-D) Conversion therapy prohibited. Prohibits any health care provider or person who performs counseling as part of his training for any profession licensed by a regulatory board of the Department of Health Professions from engaging in conversion therapy (therapy to help an individual overcome same-sex attraction) with any person under 18 years of age. SB262 & SB267 were recommended PBI by Senate Education & Health subcommittee. HB427 has not yet been heard in House General Laws.

We oppose the following bills to allow for a Constitutional amendment (Virginia) for same-sex marriage: SJR 2 by Sen. Adam Ebbin-D; SJ 32 by Sen. Don McEachin-D; SJ 9 by Sen. Mamie Locke-D. All of these bills were carried over to 2017.

Now, let’s see some bills we SUPPORT:

HB19 (Chris Head-R) Ministers or other persons authorized to celebrate rites of matrimony; no oath required. Provides that no oath shall be required of a minister or other person who seeks authorization to perform the rites of matrimony and that no such authorized minister or other person shall be considered an officer of the Commonwealth. This bill has not yet been heard in House Courts of Justice.

HB781 (Mark Cole-R) Use of restroom facilities; penalty. Requires persons using restrooms in any public building and public school restroom, locker room, and shower room designated male and female beused by males or females on the basis of their biological sex. The bill defines "biological sex" and provides a civil penalty for a willful and knowing violation. This bill has not yet been heard in House General Laws.

HB791 (Les Adams-R) Act for Religious Freedom. Reaffirms that the religious rights asserted in § 57-1 of the Code of Virginia are the natural and unalienable rights of mankind. This bill has not yet been heard in House General Laws.

HB963 (Dave LaRock) Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.  The Act prohibits an abortion after 20 weeks gestation unless, in reasonable medical judgment, the mother has a condition that so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion to avert her death or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function. This bill has not yet been heard in House Courts of Justice.

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