Respect for Life
I agree with Thomas Jefferson that “the care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” Therefore we have a duty to protect the sick, elderly, handicapped, pre-born children, and those truly unable to care for themselves.
I authored successful legislation, HB 2506, (1995) to authorize judges to direct that parties to a divorce or separation be informed of the effects of such separation/divorce on children.
Partial Birth Abortion
My law (2003) to prohibit late term partial birth infanticide abortions passed the General Assembly and became law over Governor Mark Warner’s objections.
My 1996 law, HB 7, prohibiting the use of state owned or leased computers for accessing pornography was sustained by the Fourth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Urofsky v. Gilmore, [167 F.3d 191 (1999)]. Also, my HB 748 which made it a Class 1 Misdemeanor to send sexually explicit emails to minors over the internet passed over Governor Jim Gilmore’s amendment to kill the bill by requiring that it be reenacted again.
Love of Country
Our national motto, “In God We Trust” is to be posted in public schools because of my law, HB 108.
I worked for three years introducing bills and budget amendments to secure monetary compensation for Virginia victims of forced, mandatory sterilization (without consent) conducted from 1924 through 1979. In the 2015 Budget, sterilization victims who are living and who apply for compensation will finally be awarded $25,000.
In 1924, the Virginia General Assembly passed the Virginia Eugenical Sterilization Act which resulted in roughly 7,000 men, women and children in Virginia being forcibly sterilized. This unjust practice was held constitutional in a landmark 1927 decision, before the United States Supreme Court, in Buck vs. Bell. The Virginia Eugenical Sterilization Act became a model law for other states and nations, including Nazi Germany in 1933.
The law was supported by eugenics advocates including prominent doctors and scientists at the University of Virginia. Virginians who were confined to state institutions because of mental illness, mental handicap, epilepsy or temporary head injury, were sterilized as a “benefit both to themselves and society.”
One sterilization victim whom I personally met is Mr. E. Lewis Reynolds, a lifetime Marine veteran from Lynchburg, who was forcibly sterilized at the Central Virginia Training Center.
The Washington Post noted (2-27-15) “During the 2013 legislative session, Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) and Del. Patrick A. Hope (D-Arlington) — lawmakers who are diametrically opposed on many other issues — sought to compensate victims with $50,000.”
The appropriations of the $25,000 does not undo past wrongs. And it does not undo the injustice of stealing from our fellow Virginians the gift of children. But we could not leave these victims in their declining years without something to partially remedy the profound wrong that was done to them, who are now left without family to help them in their senior years, especially when Virginia and localities are required to compensate for taking real property under eminent domain.