Virginia Democrat Senators Vote in Favor of Discriminatory Practices
On Wednesday January 19, 2022, Two bills to prevent the discrimination of Virginians with valid medical and religious exemptions to CDC recommended guidelines were shut down by the Democrat majority Senate Committee for General Laws and Technology.
SB 548 Virginia Human Rights Act; nondiscrimination in places of public accommodation; COVID-19.
The bill prohibits discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of an individual as having received, received in part, or not received a vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19.
SB 582 Virginia Human Rights Act; nondiscrimination in places of public accommodation.
Virginia Human Rights Act; nondiscrimination in places of public accommodation and certain private establishments; face coverings. Prohibits discrimination in places of public accommodations including public and private elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education and certain private establishments because the individual is or is not wearing a face covering for the purpose of preventing the transmission of COVID-19.
Moving testimony was given in support of both of these bills. The testimony included a combat injured veteran who had been seizure free for years until the mask mandates came down. He complied and as a direct result of masking began having seizures. His life and access to basic needs are compromised because of on going discrimination of those unable to mask. Testimony was also given by a sexual assault victim who is on a full medical exemption at a Virginia college who was subsequently physically assaulted for not wearing a mask in Loudoun county grocery store.
Testimony to oppose the bills included a mother who also stated her child was unable to wear a mask because of medical conditions, and she forced her to do so causing further distress but did so because of the mandates. Two other women opposed the bills because they were afraid of the virus but offered no substantial compelling information.
Senator Ebbin (D) cynically questioned the patron Senator Amanda Chase and noted he was fearful that despite masking, people could be sneezed on and die.
This legislation was absolutely essential to safeguard and ensure the Constitutional protected liberties of ALL Virginians. The Senate committee on General Laws and Technology voted down strict party lines. Every Republican Senator voted to protect Constitutional Rights and against discriminatory practices. Every Democrat Senator voted against these protections.
As a result of the Democrats Party's unwillingness to codify these protections, those with strongly held religious beliefs and legitimate disabilities who are following the medical advice of their doctors, will continue to be discriminated against through either outright refusal of service or with resurrected policies Jim Crow era policies like Separate but Equal.