A subcommittee within the House of Delegates General Laws Committee tabled House Bill 1667, which would have prohibited state agencies “and other public bodies from requiring any contractor entering into a public contract to agree to additional nondiscrimination provisions with respect to gender identity or sexual orientation.” HB 1667 would have also provided civil immunity “for any business or nonprofit organization that does not provide any benefit or accommodation with respect to gender identity or sexual orientation.”
The House Rules Committee on Tuesday also tabled Marshall’s proposal that would have authorized House Speaker William Howell (R-Stafford County) to “employ legal counsel to represent the General Assembly in instituting legal action against any federal authority if the federal authority unconstitutionally violates the sovereign rights of the commonwealth, its agencies or local governments or their agencies.”
The measure would have also applied in the case of the state attorney general “fails to take legal action against such violations.”
Attorney General Mark Herring in 2015 issued an opinion that said local school boards have the authority under state law to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination policies. Marshall has repeatedly accused Herring of violating the Dillon Rule, which he says prohibits school boards from taking such actions unless the General Assembly were to pass a law allowing them to do so.
The Republican-controlled House General Laws Subcommittee on Jan. 19 killed Marshall’s bill that would have banned transgender people from using public bathrooms based on their gender identity.
Danica Roem, a trans journalist who is running against Marshall, in a statement welcomed Tuesday’s vote.
“Del. Marshall’s focus on dead-on-arrival, discriminatory social legislation has harmed his own standing within his party and it’s harmed his district,” said Roem.