A Hollywood movie writer could not have written a better script demonstrating the lack of respect members of the Republican Party in Virginia have for difference and, by extension, the very principles which underlie our country.
On Tuesday, the Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee, House General Laws, voted to ‘table’ Senate Bill 701, primarily sponsored by Democrats in the Virginia Senate, Adam Ebbin and Donald McEachin. SB 701 was passed last month in the split senate 24-16.
SB 701 would have prevented the government of Virginia from discriminating against individuals based on their sexual orientation. Sounds pretty straightforward, morally sound, and commonsensical, right? Welcome to the twilight universe that is Virginia politics.
Being the cowards that they are, however, none of the subcommittee members who voted against SB 701 will have an official record kept on how they voted (voice votes are not kept on official record). Indeed, why would these tough guys actually want to stand up for their beliefs?
I don’t like to name-call or to assign blame. Plenty of people can do that for me. But when such a foundational principle that imbibes our country is wiped under the rug, it kind of upsets me.
I can take solace in knowing that these individuals and their beliefs are already dead even if their battered remains still inflict mortal political wounds. Their beliefs are truly un-American and have no place in a modern America, an America that values tolerance and shames ignorance.
What does it matter if this or that person wants to be gay? How is it affecting anyone’s life in a real, physical, sense? It’s not, of course.
But for many Republicans in Virginia, dangers are always lurking around the corner. Their politics, in other words, is driven by fear, fears which, on the whole, have no basis in reality (for instance, the government is coming to take my guns!!).
A politics driven by fear is a recipe for degradation as a society and most Americans know it. That is why these conservatives will ultimately lose the political battle. Their ideas, their beliefs, and consequently, their fears, offer nothing but a intolerant and regressive future. How many people truly want to vote for that?