News, Wit & Commentary for Lesbians
JIC Post: By ELIZABETH WEILL-GREENBERGWashington PostVirginia's gay rights advocates, who are battling to defeat several anti-gay proposals, finally found a piece of legislation they can support this week — until it was killed by a Senate committee.The Senate Committee on General Laws & Technology this week rejected SB 700, a bill to prohibit sexual orientation discrimination at all levels of state government.The proposal, sponsored by Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D-District 18) and Sen. Mamie Locke (D-District 2) would have clarified and expanded Executive Order One, which outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation for state employees.The bill failed in an 8-6 committee vote with one abstention on Wednesday.One Republican lawmaker complained that the bill was unworkable because "sexual orientation" included far more than homosexuality, bisexuality and heterosexuality."Sexual orientation is a broad term," argued Virginia Del. Mark L. Cole (R-Fredericksburg), according to a report in the Washington Post. "There are eight different sexual orientations, including pedophilia and bestiality. I think we'd be opening up Pandora's box and allowing judges to interpret what that means."The bill stated that "sexual orientation" is defined to mean "actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality or gender identity or expression." It also read: "sexual orientation does not include sexually deviant disorders (paraphilias) as defined in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders."At the end of Democratic Gov. Mark Warner's term last year, he modified Executive Order One to include sexual orientation. Kaine signed the Executive Order when he took office. His spokesperson said Kaine supported SB 700.
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