Saturday, February 13, 2016

Poll: Majority of Virginians Oppose "Religious Freedom” Laws

It continues to amaze me how out of step the Virginia GOP is when comes to following the wishes of a majority of voters in the Commonwealth.  A new CNU poll (the full report is here) shows that the Virginia GOP opposes the will of the majority of Virginians when it comes to Medicaid expansion - 61% of Virginians support expansion; the restoration of felons voting rights - 69% support it; and misnamed "religious freedom" laws - 57% oppose them.  Sadly, because of the gerrymandered districts that the Virginia GOP pushed through, many of the members of the General Assembly who flip the proverbial bird to voters - while prostituting themselves to The Family Foundation, a hate group, the NRA and Tea Party extremists - will be difficult to dislodge from office.  A piece in GayRVA looks at some of the poll findings. Here are highlights:
Virginians do not think businesses should be able to refuse services to same-sex couples trying to get married.

The poll, released today, suggested “Virginia voters solidly oppose a proposal to allow businesses to refuse services to gay and lesbian couples based upon religious beliefs” with 57% saying they oppose such a proposal.

The poll goes on to say opposition falls along party lines, but with moderates and independents both opposing such measures by at least 62%.

“The Virginia electorate has moved dramatically on same sex marriage since voters banned it by approving the Virginia Marriage Amendment in 2006,” said Dr. Quentin Kidd who oversaw the poll. “Today, a fairly decisive majority say businesses should not be able to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples even if homosexuality violates their religious beliefs.”

Del. Todd Gilbert and Sen. Charles Carrico both have so called “religious freedom” bills before the current General Assembly session. Carrico’s bill passed it’s first full reading yesterday, though could face opposition before next week’s crossover. Gilbert’s bill is set for subcommittee hearing today after the House adjourns.
The number one obstacle to Virginia moving forward in today's changing economy and society is the Virginia GOP and the extremists it panders to, many of whom seemingly long for the days of segregation, the Jim Crow laws, and the blatant mistreatment of LGBT citizens. All the while, of course, the GOP base pats itself on the back for being "godly Christians" even as they most resemble the Pharisees condemned in the New Testament.  Can we say hypocrites?

No comments: