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Va. Senate OKs House version of bill that allows discrimination in college clubs

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia House measure that would allow student clubs at Virginia’s public colleges and universities to discriminate in their policies and membership was passed the state Senate Monday on a 21-18 vote.

Virginia state capitol in Richmond.

HB1617 had passed the House of Delegates on January 31 in a 80-19 vote. A Senate version of the bill (SB 1074) is currently before a House committee, and is expected to receive a full vote by the House within the next week.

Both versions would then be bundled together and sent to Republican Governor Bob McDonnell for his signature.

The bill permits religious or political student organizations to exclude from membership anyone not “committed to the organization’s mission.”

The bill would also prohibits public universities from punishing clubs that have rejected potential members, potentially invalidating non-discrimination policies already in place in many state colleges and universities.

“Under this bill, student groups benefiting from our taxpayer dollars can deny membership to students for any reason, from religion to sexual orientation, said state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), Virginia’s only openly gay lawmaker.

Tucker Martin, the Governor’s spokesperson, declined to speculate on whether McDonnell would sign the bill.

Update, 3/22/2013: Gov. Bob McDonnell has approved the measure; the law takes effect July 1, 2013.

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8 more reader comments:

  1. I am not surprised, Virginia is a very backwards state. (I live there)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 11:10am
  2. Bigots

    Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 11:16am
  3. As do I Gregory but I don’t think in the same mentality as the people who passed this. I may be straight but that doesn’t make me narrow minded.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 11:16am
  4. So if KKK like organization forms and believes non-whites are against their religion, they can exclude? Since when did it become OK to discriminate again? I hope it gets challenged in court if it passes.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 11:22am
  5. Not surprised in the least. Va seems to be the most conservative state in the union.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 11:23am
  6. Has anyone started a petition to challenge this? I’ll sign for sure. I wish people would quit being bigots.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 11:26am
  7. Someone needs to smack those idiots in the House and Senate in Virginia senseless to knock some sense into them

    Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 11:56am
  8. I don’t think alot of people won’t be moving to VA anytime soon.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 12:12pm