Now under the control of the Democrats, the Virginia Senate voted this week to allow transgenders to get new birth certificates to reflect their gender identity rather than their biological sex at birth. The bill allows this to be done even without transgenders having surgically altered their sex.
In addition, The Washington Times reports, Senate Democrats passed a bill requiring the Department of Education to develop policies concerning the treatment of transgender students in public elementary and secondary schools, and one outlawing what is called "conversion" therapy for anyone under the age of 18.
If passed by the House of Delegates and signed by the governor, Christian parents and others are concerned it will make it illegal to teach their children what the Bible says about sexuality, and criminalize efforts to help minor children confused about their gender become comfortable with their birth gender through counseling and ministry.
So far, there's no sign of a bill to forbid telling 3-year-olds they can be any gender they want, or to prohibit pumping 10-year-olds with puberty-blocking chemicals.
The birth certificate bill is the brainchild of Sen. Jennifer Boysko from Fairfax in Northern Virginia. According to the Times, this is the third year Boysko has presented the bill for the birth certificate change. In the past, it died in subcommittee.
Twenty-two states have similar laws. Boysko said, "It's time for Virginia to move forward and be the 23rd state."
"I just think it's important to try to make life easier for people without being discriminated (against) or bullied," said Boysko, D-Fairfax. "Allowing an individual who is transgender to change their birth certificate without having to go through the full surgery allows them to live the life that they are due to have."
Vee Lamneck of Equality Virginia is very pleased with the bill, and told the Times, "This bill is really important for the transgender community. Right now many transgendered people do not have identity documents… this is really problematic when people apply for jobs or try to open a bank account."
Newsweek reports Senate Bill No. 245 to outlaw conversion therapy was introduced by Democratic state Senator Scott Surovell of Rocky Mount earlier this month. It states that no counselor can lawfully "engage in conversion therapy with a person under 18 years of age." According to the news site, the Virginia bill defines conversion therapy as "any practice or treatment that seeks to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity." The bill passed by a vote of 21 to 18, with only Republican senators voting against it.
Surovell told Newsweek, "Not only is this practice harmful to our youth developing their gender identity, but from a legal standpoint, conversion therapy is abusive given the mental health repercussions. This bill will protect our children from beliefs rooted in bigotry."
In light of these bills, here are a few takeaways about what's going on in Virginia that can apply to anywhere in the country.
#1. Elections Have Consequences
In Virginia, radical laws have been kept off the books in previous years by more conservative majorities in the state legislature. Now with representatives in the majority who hold far-left positions on everything from gun control to abortion to traditional morality, there is a clear possibility that the life, culture, and freedoms many Virginians believe in will belong only to the past.
#2. Worldview Matters
Virginia, as well as the rest of the country, has to decide if law and public order are going to be based on a purely secularist, utilitarian viewpoint, or on the traditional, historical view found in Judeo-Christian principles from the Bible.
The so-called "bigotry" that Sen. Surovell wants to "protect our children from" happens to be the deeply-held beliefs of millions of Virginians. These beliefs are protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. They come from the Bible and say that God created male and female, and that homosexual and transsexual behavior is sinful and not part of the Creator's plan, and that through the power of the Cross of Jesus Christ, confusion over gender and same-sex attraction can be healed. Deciding law based on what just a few years ago even secular experts termed a mental disorder is not the way to have a stable, healthy society.
#3. Either Accept the New Order or Fight Back
The people must decide whether to just accept or fight this new order that's sweeping across many states. It is a tough fight when all the prevailing cultural winds tell you that because of what you believe you're a bigot and not fair or compassionate or even American. The way we fight in America is by speaking up and winning the debate in the political sphere. That means to get involved in your community, stand up for your values by making an intelligent, loving argument for your views. And not insignificant to the battle, PRAY. Prayer can change the hearts of your political adversaries. Prayer can change the spiritual climate of your town. Pray for your community, pray for your state, pray for your country, pray for your leaders.