The following summary of what’s currently taking place in the Virginia General Assembly comes from the Virginia Family Foundation. As the Arlington Parent Coalition’s primary goals focus on protecting parents’ rights and defending girls’ rights and protections in Arlington Public Schools, we share the below (lightly edited) summary with you to keep you apprised of how legislators in Richmond are trying to undermine both parents and girls/women. We find this a succinct and helpful digest of current legislative efforts.
“Click Here to Read More” links lead to articles from the Virginia Family Foundation on the topics in question.
This week was the first full week of Session, with today already marking Day 10 (of 60), and it has been one of the most consequential weeks we have ever witnessed in the General Assembly in our 35 years. As anticipated, there have been many bills that strike at the heart of religious liberty, diminish parental authority, and infringe on our most fundamental rights. While the Senate was quick to start work, the House has barely begun holding committee meetings and has yet to pass any legislation outside of the so-called Equal Rights Amendment resolution. Below is a snapshot of the good news and the bad news from the week.
GOOD NEWS First!
Stricken: SB 104 (Favola - D) - would have stripped parents of their fundamental rights by permitting a minor to act as an adult for purposes of consenting to receiving any vaccination without parental notification or consent.
Defeated: SB 431 (Surovell - D) – would have forced counselors and therapists to take on clients against their wishes, while undermining the integrity of the doctor/patient relationship.
Carried Over for the Year: SB 32 (Petersen - D) would have … criminalized parents for using ANY inanimate object to discipline their own child, whether it’s a paddle, a ruler, or even a fly swatter! Click HERE to read more.
Now the BAD NEWS…
Equal Rights Amendment. SJ1 (McClellan – D) and HJ1 (Carroll Foy – D) – After a long, grueling battle, the House and Senate voted to pass the so-called ERA. And just yesterday, a House committee passed SJ1, which means it goes to the full House for a floor vote. So it’s clear the ERA resolution will be passed by the General Assembly very soon. Since the Resolution does not require the Governor’s signature, the Democrat led legislature will communicate the ratification to the archivist and then lots of litigation will ensue.
School Transgender Policies. SB 161 (Boysko - D) directs the Department of Education to develop model policies for all local school divisions on how to handle “transgender” students. These policies would impact bathroom and locker room use, participation on all-female sports teams, and likely the forced usage of a person’s preferred pronouns. It was passed by a Senate committee on a vote of 10-5. Click HERE to read more.
Birth Certificate Sex Change. SB 657 (Boysko-D) will change Virginia law to allow any person to legally “change” their birth sex on their official birth certificate by doing nothing more than make a simple request to the State Registrar using a form. It was passed by a Senate committee on a vote of 10-5. Click HERE to read more.
Non-Binary Driver's Licenses. SB 246 (Surovell - D) would allow anyone to choose “X” or “non-binary” as their official sex on their driver’s license. … It is not clear what “X” means, or what the full implications of having a “non-binary” designation would be, but clearly it implies that there is some other sex than male or female. It was passed by a Senate committee on a vote of 10-5. Click HERE to read more.
Same-Sex Marriage. SB 17 (Ebbin-D) and SB 39 (Edwards-D) formally repeals the statutory prohibition on marriage between individuals of the same sex. While the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 issued a lawless 5-4 Opinion forcing so-called same-sex marriage on all 50 states... These were passed by a Senate committee on a vote of 9-5. Click HERE to read more.
SOGI Hate Crimes. SB 179 (Favola - D), HB 1058 (Kory - D), and HB 276 (Sullivan - D) adds “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” to the list of “hate crimes” for which a person can receive an enhanced penalty for certain crimes if those traits were part of the motivation of the crime. To be sure, all violent acts against innocent persons should be punished, but “hate crimes” actually criminalize a person’s mere thoughts separately from their actions. All of these bills passed out of Committees.
Prohibition Against Talk Therapy. SB 245 (Surovell - D) would prevent parents from seeking counseling for their children who may struggle with their sexual identity or are experiencing unwanted same-sex attractions. Under this bill, if any licensed health professionals (counselors, psychologists, physicians, etc.) provides talk therapy for these minors, they risk having their license taken away, jeopardizing their careers and livelihood. It was passed by a Senate committee on a vote of 9-6. Click HERE to read more.
Gender Neutral Terms. SB 247 (Surovell) removes the titles “husband” and “wife” from the laws about divorce. This is a similar attempt to scrub from the record all traces of the reality of male and female… It was passed by a Senate committee on a vote of 11-0. Click HERE to read more.
Victoria Cobb, President
What You Can Do:
Tell your state representatives that you support parents’ authority and children’s protections, and will vote accordingly to remove legislators who undermine them. Barbara Favola is Arlington’s district representative.
Sign up for the Virginia Family Foundation’s updates, to stay apprised of what’s happening at the capitol and around the state.
Report to the Arlington Parent Coalition when Arlington Public Schools breaches parents’ trust, like the gender identity lesson taught to Oakridge 4th and 5th graders without parent permission; the gender harassment lesson taught during English class to 7th graders at Williamsburg (again, without parent permission); and the planned and organized reading of a transgender story book by a transgender activist to kindergartners at Ashlawn (per usual, WITHOUT PARENT PERMISSION). By documenting these events we not only help parents protect their children in Arlington, we also put Arlington Public Schools on notice that they are being monitored, and we inform parents in other districts which are not so far along the transgender activism road that this unconscionable agenda is coming their way unless they stay vigilant and active.
As always, thank you for all you're doing to help keep children safe in Arlington Public Schools.