2014 Equality Agenda

Virginia 2014 Equality Legislation

General Assembly members during the 2014 legislative session offered a range of legislation to support the rights of LGBT Virginians and their families.  At a press conference organized by Equality Virginia to support this legislation, POFEV endorsed EV's Equality Agenda.

"The debates on these measures that will ensue in this building are political, and thus are moral in nature. And they are spiritual. For people of faith, of whatever faith, there is a spiritual foundation to every question of public morality. It is true here."

The full text of POFEV's statement is below, and you also can download it here.


POFEV_logo_for_web.jpgStatement by Rev. Dr. Robin H. Gorsline, President & CEO                                                              

In support of the 2014 Equality Agenda

January 13, 2014

robin.gorsline@pofev.org 804/519-3196

I am pleased to be here to share an interfaith perspective on some vital legislation before the General Assembly. I commend Senator McEachin and Senator Ebbin and others of their colleagues for supporting a robust “equality agenda” this session.

I am especially pleased to offer the strong endorsement by the movement I lead, POFEV: People of Faith for Equality in Virginia, of Senate Bill 248, Senate Bill 252, and SJ 1 and SJ 5

The debates on these measures that will ensue in this building are political, and thus are moral in nature. And they are spiritual. For people of faith, of whatever faith, there is a spiritual foundation to every question of public morality. It is true here.

The fundamental spiritual issue that undergirds this legislative package is this: will we, as a Commonwealth, a common wealth, accept the gift that God gives us, namely the gift of hundreds of thousands of LGBT residents—parents, children, aunts and uncles, siblings, cousins, neighbors, coworkers, business people, doctors, lawyers, teachers, clergy, homemakers, waitresses, laborers of all sorts, etc.  Will we decide to take God at God’s word, and accept, and more than accept, will we welcome and celebrate the abundance and diversity of God’s human family that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Virginians? That is the spiritual question, to which we answer a resounding yes, and toward which this legislation makes a strong positive response. 

In the case of anti-discrimination protection for state workers, faith leaders across the spectrum of beliefs recognize that the work people do is more than a paycheck, it is an expression of their very personhood, a personhood that is divine in its origin. Some faiths explicitly understand work as an act of worship. In that sense, to fail to protect workers on the job is to deny the God who created, and creates, them.

In line with the centrality of work in the spiritual lives of individuals and families, we affirm it is time for the General Assembly to allow the boards of institutions of higher learning, and other competent governing bodies, to make their own personnel benefit rules. Let those closest to the scene make such choices, give them a chance to honor and cherish those who work in their communities, and thus to do honor to the God of all.

And with marriage, what God has joined together, the Commonwealth of Virginia may not cut asunder. You may scoff that God has not yet joined together any gay or lesbian couples—because only the Commonwealth of Virginia can empower a clergy person to pronounce words of union. But it is not so. God joins people every day—that is how couples—same gender and different gender-- are brought together . . . . by God. And I can tell you that, as a pastor for 10 years, I officiated at the celebration of these joinings in many public ceremonies.        More…→

The leaders of our Commonwealth who continue to hide behind the distortion that God only wants to marry one man and one woman have chosen to lock God up in a box and throw away the key. But God does not work for the Commonwealth of Virginia and God never got in the box in the first place. God is always on the move, and God is moving Virginia just as God moved Maryland, D.C., New York, Deleware, New Jersey and the New England states and all the others across the country and the globe.

So like Moses talking to Pharaoh, we at POFEV know that is not a matter of “whether” but only a matter of “when.” This plague of intolerance against LGBT Virginians by their government will end, and it will be ending sooner than many think.

God wants all God’s people to be free, and we will be free. These legislative initiatives carry the torch of freedom forward. 

POFEV (People of Faith for Equality in Virginia), P.O. Box 4919, Richmond, VA 23220 • www.facebook.com/pofev

email info@pofev.org