Virginia’s Democrat lawmakers have devised a scheme to force Christians to build business and institutions, believing they are doing so motivated by their religious faith in God, to only be forced to employ people who do not share their faith, destroying Chritian’s protected civil liberties under the US Constitution, and now they are getting sued over it.
Christian Taylor of PJ Media wrote, “Three Christian schools and a Christian network of pregnancy centers are suing Attorney General Mark Herring (D-Va.) in order to prevent Virginia from implementing two pro-LGBT laws that force “people of faith to adopt a particular government ideology under threat of punishment.” The two laws purport to prevent “discrimination” against LGBT people but, in reality, they force Christian ministries to choose between violating their sincerely held religious beliefs or paying hefty fines, as much as $100,000 per offense.
The so-called Virginia Values Act (S.B. 868), which Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) signed on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday) in the middle of a pandemic, compels churches, religious schools, and Christian ministries to hire employees who do not share their stated beliefs on marriage, sexuality, and gender identity. A companion law (H.B. 1429) requires ministries and others like them to pay for transgender surgery in employee health care plans, a procedure that violates these ministries’ convictions.”
For the Ministries, personnel is policy; and so they intentionally employ staff and recruit volunteers who further their respective Christian missions. Virginia’s new laws, however, make this free religious exercise and association impossible and label these liberties ‘discrimination,’” the lawsuit argues.
Taylor writes, “S.B. 868 and H.B. 1429 require the ministries to hire employees who disagree with their beliefs on marriage, sexuality, and gender; mandate that the ministries hire employees whose beliefs and lifestyles are “antagonistic to the ministries’ convictions”; prohibit the ministries from firing employees who oppose their missions; require the ministries to provide services in a manner that violates their beliefs; ban the ministries from even communicating their biblical beliefs; make the ministries use their facilities in a way that contradicts their beliefs; and force the ministries to pay for “gender reassignment” procedures in their health plans, even though the ministries object to these procedures.
These laws put the ministries “in an impossible position: they must either abandon the religious convictions they were founded upon, or be ready to face investigations, an onerous administrative process, fines up to $100,000 for each violation, unlimited compensatory and punitive damages and attorney-fee awards, and court orders forcing them to engage in actions that would violate their consciences.”
Woods and Rogers, two attorneys at law in Virginia wrote about the new law saying,”On April 11, 2020, Governor Northam signed the Virginia Values Act (S.B. 868) into law, creating protections for LGBT residents in public accommodations, housing, credit applications, and employment by expanding the Virginia Human Rights Act (VHRA). This historic passage makes Virginia the first state in the South to enact such protections.
New Workplace LGBT Protections
The VHRA prohibits discrimination against certain classes of employees for employers with more than five but fewer than 15 employees. The Virginia Values Act expands the list of those protected classes to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The new law also changes how cases against employers may be brought.
Governor Northam signed this law alongside one that allows localities to enact their own ordinances relating to gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination. He also repealed the state law contradicting the 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriages and civil unions.
Important: Increased Litigation Risks and Costs
“Adding new protected classes provides more opportunities for employees to sue employers for discrimination, but this is not the only litigation concern for employers.”
A major conflict for Christians is killing babies, that could be the real focus of the bill.
Virginia’s Governor, Ralph Northam, is a far-left radical supporter of Planned Parenthood, who has withstood numerous powerful scandals in his administration, ones that rocked the nation when he talked about his ideas of late-term abortion being legal to the point after birth, in a radio program where he talked about killing an infant after the baby was born if they Mother decided on abortion.
Northam is showing an obvious conflict of interest with the demands that Christians must provide workspace for people who don’t share their faith and motivation while protesting one of their highest concepts, the respect for the sanctity of human life.
Northam is one of the most proactive pro-abortion lawmakers in the country, passing broad access to the leading abortion provider to government funds, and to pregnant women.