General Assembly Wraps Up 2021 Session – What You Need to Know

Thanks to the Family Foundation for this summary of key bills passed in the General Assembly that advance the left-wing agenda here in the Commonwealth.

Some highlights:

  • Repeal and Replace Natural Marriage – HJ 582 (D-Sickles) and SJ 270 (D-Ebbin) are the first step toward amending the Virginia Constitution to remove language affirming natural marriage and replace it with language that would require the state to recognize ALL marriages and “treat all marriages equally” “regardless of sex or gender of the parties to the marriage.”  These would enshrine in the state constitution the right to “marriage” between individuals of the same sex even if the 2015 Obergefell opinion is eventually overturned by the newly comprised Supreme Court. It also opens up Virginia to polygamy and other currently banned forms of “marriage.”  There is a lot more we have to say on this issue, so stay tuned!
  • Cultural Competency Training – SB 1196 (D-Locke) and HB 1904 (D-Jenkins) require anyone seeking a teacher licensure to be trained in the vague and undefined notion of “cultural competency” – in reality, code language for more Marxist indoctrination like “Critical Race Theory.”
  • Legalization of adult recreational use of marijuana – Under SB 1406 (D-Ebbin) and HB 2312 (D-Herring), adults 21 and older will be able to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and not be subject to any civil fine, and it would become legal to cultivate, manufacture, sell or buy adult-use marijuana beginning July 1, 2024.  They also contain a re-enactment clause that would require the General Assembly to re-approve it in 2022, as well as a local opt-out of commercial marijuana through a local referendum that would need to be held by December 1, 2022.
  • “Nanny State” Bills – HB 2032 (D-Gooditis), HB 1864 (D-Price) and SB 1310 (D-McClellan) make an “employer” anyone who hires just one person, even if it’s part-time (a few hours a week), as an in-home nanny, babysitter, caretaker, in-home nurse, or tutor for their child, which will open them up to civil lawsuits for “discrimination” under the Human Rights Act by the Attorney General and/or disgruntled applicants or former employees. SB 1310 and HB 1864 go even further by authorizing the Health Department “to enter without delay” the home/premises “to inspect, investigate, and take samples,” and it creates numerous requirements for families hiring a “domestic worker.”
  • Health Exchange Coverage of Abortion – SB 1276 (D-McClellan) and HB 1896 (D-Hudson) allow coverage of abortion on demand in health insurance plans in Virginia’s Obamacare health exchange. Taxes pay for managing the exchange and for subsidizing health plans in many cases.