Note: We do not endorse alternative voter guides. In fact, in some cases we link to voter guides produced organizations with goals contrary to our own. Nonetheless, we believe you may find considering an alternative voter guide (like the one that follows) helpful in validating our work.
In the past we have focused on listing alternative Christian Voter Guides. Unfortunately, that only allows us to get direct responses from those candidates who choose to respond to surveys from Christian organizations. Often, however, candidates respond to requests from other organizations, and Equality Virginia is one such organization. Here is Equality Virginia mission statement.
EV is a statewide, non-partisan advocacy, outreach and education organization seeking equality for LGBT Virginians. EV believes in a truly inclusive Commonwealth where all are equally welcomed and valued, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
We envision a future where…
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Virginians will enjoy the same rights as their neighbors.
- All people can safely be honest and open about their sexual orientation and gender identity at school, at work and in their communities.
- All are safe from hate violence.
- Every Virginian will be able to marry the person they love, and have that relationship legally recognized.
- All Virginians will be evaluated only on the basis of their skills and hard work, and not face workplace discrimination due to their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
- The children of LGBT parents enjoy all the same protections as every child.
- Students in Virginia’s schools are free from bullying and harassment based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- LGBT Virginians are free of police harassment and receive equal justice in the courts.
- All Virginians can find supportive faith communities.
- The Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth are no longer disfigured by legislation whose only purpose is to discriminate against LGBT Virginians.
- A pervasive spirit of tolerance, fairness and religious freedom will make organizations like Equality Virginia unnecessary.
In the past, Americans have fought civil rights battles over race, sex, and creed. Although the civil rights battle over sexual orientation would appear to be a new frontier in the civil right cause, it is not.
Let’s briefly consider why we have civil rights battles over race, sex, and creed.
- Race: Although every one of us belongs to the human race, we each have a unique heritage that includes relatively slight genetic differences. Thus, we can identify four major racial groups that are commonly differentiated by skin color. Unfortunately, even though the individual differences between human beings far outweigh racial differences, some people would still arbitrarily discriminate based upon race. So our laws discourage the practice.
- Sex: Unlike race, there are real and substantial differences between the sexes. Therefore, it often makes sense to treat men and women differently. Problems arise, however, when we choose to discriminate base upon sex even when no relevant difference can be demonstrated between the sexes. That, for example, is why the woman’s suffrage movement became necessary. Therefore, when sexual differences have no obvious relevance, our laws tend to discourage discrimination based upon sex.
- Creed: When people have serious disagreements, they often do so because of cultural differences related to differing beliefs about the nature of God. Sometimes these creedal differences cannot be reconciled. For example, Americans will not tolerate a religion that practices human sacrifice. Fortunately, few people still think the gods require human sacrifice. In fact, Americans pride themselves on their forbearance. To the extent that is practical, our laws protect religious freedom (or freedom of conscience). Otherwise, our laws focus on protecting our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (as defined in the Declaration of Independence).
Because organizations such as Equality Virginia have posed their civil rights concerns as an involuntary sexual orientation choice, we have trouble readily classifying it. Is Equality Virginia right in their claim that no one has the right to discriminate against another’s supposedly involuntary sexual orientation choices? Is discriminating against another person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity preferences ethical? I believe the answers are no and yes.
What Equality Virginia advocates appears to be creedal in nature. That is because how we behave towards each other involves voluntary choices, not our supposed sexual orientation. Thus, social order requires that we each be held responsible for our choices. Therefore, what Equality Virginia advocates involves arbitrarily redefining traditional standards of tolerance and forbearance related to sexual relationships. Whereas it was once acceptable to voice objections to homosexuality as being both sinful and unhealthy, Equality Virginia would now have us believe that the mere expression of such opinions equates to intolerable bigotry.
Candidate responses to Equality Virginia‘s survey (or questionnaire) can be found at 2013 Delegates Race. With respect to delegate races relevant to Prince William County, Equality Virginia has survey responses from :
- District 2: Michael T. Futrell, Democrat (here)
- District 13: Atif M. Qarni. Democrat (here)
- District 31: Jeremy S. McPike, Democrat (here)
- District 40: Jerry L. Foltz, Democrat (here)
- District 50: Richard A. Cabellos, Democrat (here)
- District 87: John J. Bell, Democrat (here)
Equality Virginia‘s questionnaire poses questions related to:
- Prohibiting discrimination against LGBT Virginians with respect to employment and second-parent adoptions (same-sex couple).
- Repealing Virginia’s constitutional provision that defines marriage as one man – one woman.
- Defining bullying. Here the subject is harassment related to sexual orientation preferences. The focus is the public school system.
If you are interested in studying the subject, here are some related posts: