The Commerce and Labor Committee in Virginia's House of Delegates has rejected a bill that would have authorized local governments to provide insurance benefits to anyone designated by a government employee. SB 51, which was supported by the pro-homosexual lobby group Human Rights Campaign, was introduced by Democratic State Senator Mary Margaret Whipple, who claimed legislation was needed and would level the playing field for all government employees, regardless of their sexual orientation.
The legislation was passed in late January by the Senate and then passed to the House of Delegates. In the meantime, Glover explains, a grassroots campaign by pro-family activists in Virginia was successful in turning the tide of support among lawmakers -- including three Republicans who usually support family-friendly legislation but earlier had supported this particular measure.
"We worked with other activists and organizations in the state," the activist explains, "and sure enough, when we got to the full committee vote, those three who had voted wrong in subcommittee ... had flipped their votes and voted against it." Many people from across the state, he says, spoke out against de-institutionalizing the family. "So clearly, this is one of those situations where the people have prevailed," he notes.
Glover, who spearheaded the effort to stop the legislation, points out that numerous studies have concluded that married, heterosexual couples are statistically healthier, and enjoy a longer lifespan than the general population. He says he does not expect the legislation to be resurrected this session.