ACLU: Gov. McAuliffe further entrenches discrimination into Virginia law

state-capitol2Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed Senate Bill 330 into law on Thursday to license genetic counselors that includes a so-called “conscience clause.” The “conscience clause” will allow these state-licensed healthcare professionals to refuse service to patients based on the counselors’ “deeply held moral or religious beliefs.”

“This bill grants genetic counselors a license to discriminate under the guise of religious freedom,” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, Executive Director of the ACLU of Virginia. “Discrimination under the cloak of religion is nothing new, and the fallacy of this rhetoric is as clear now as it was 50 years ago when restaurant owners used it to challenge integration. With his pen, Governor McAuliffe could have drawn a line in the sand. He could have said that discrimination stops here. Instead, he doubled down on a discriminatory trend that is sweeping the nation. This issue is black and white, you either support discrimination or you oppose it. Today, Governor McAuliffe stands with those who support it.”

In addition, Senate Bill 330 ensures that genetic counselors who refuse service on religious grounds will not face disciplinary action or actions for damages even if their refusal causes actual physical harm to their patients.

“This provision makes a bad bill much worse,” said Gastañaga. “Because of this protection, genetic counselors who intentionally withhold information from their patients will not face justice for their actions, even if those actions result in physical or emotional harm to their patient.”

“The ACLU of Virginia is working to reverse this trend, and will continue to educate Governor McAuliffe about the true impact of this type of legislation,” said Gastañaga. “We are hopeful that Governor McAuliffe will recognize these concerns and work with us to reverse this trend.”

On March 10, 2014 the ACLU of Virginia sent Governor McAuliffe a letter urging him to veto Senate Bill 330. The letter can be viewed here.

         
 

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell

Buy here.


augusta free press news
augusta free press news
augusta free press news


Comments