Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall is
defending a so-called religious freedom bill he introduced by
claiming that opponents are discriminating against straight people.
Marshall, who once objected
to the nomination of an openly gay judge by saying that “sodomy is
not a civil right,” has introduced legislation that would
attach a “conscience clause” to any “license, registration or
certificate” issued by the state which would allow workers to
refuse to “perform, assist, consent to, or participate in any
action” that would “violate the religious or moral conviction of
such person with respect to same-sex 'marriage' or homosexual
behavior.” That is, any licensed worker – lawyer, doctor,
teacher, hair stylist, mechanic – could deny service to gay men and
lesbians by claiming a moral objection to their sexual orientation.
Governors in Indiana and Arkansas asked
lawmakers to reconsider similar bills after businesses – mostly
companies in the technology sector – threatened to boycott the
states, saying, among other things, that the measures would hamstring
their recruiting efforts.
Marshall, a Republican, defended his
bill during an appearance on the John Fredericks Show.
“When you actually look at the
rhetoric, that you need these laws to hire the best and the
brightest, that kind of like is a sweeping statement that says that
heterosexuals cannot be the best and the brightest,” Marshall said
on the radio program.
“My question is,” he
continued, “what possible rights can a person who has this
inclination have that you don't have right now? I mean, homosexuals
go to public schools, they can go to colleges, they vote, they drive
cars, they have businesses, they go to country clubs. I don't know
what else is needed.”