Dave LaRock stands up to the ACLU-VA with the following statement:
Hamilton, VA â€“ Delegate Dave LaRock today responded to a misleading press release and letter from the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia (ACLU-VA). The press release claimed that â€œâ€¦the Loudoun County School Boardâ€¦ has the legal authority and obligation to implement non-discrimination and anti-bullying policies to prohibit discrimination and harassment on the basis of a personâ€™s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.â€
The letter, signed by Gail M. Deady, Esq., â€œThe Secular Society Womenâ€™s Rights Legal Fellowâ€ at ACLU of Virginia, was poorly-researched, as evidenced by the deliberately misleading content of the letter, as well as addressing it to the Loudoun County Governmentâ€™s attorney, rather than the Loudoun County Public Schoolsâ€™ division counsel. The letter is designed to intimidate and mislead Loudoun County School Board members into a hasty, unnecessary, and illegal action that could harm vulnerable children in Loudoun County. Similar action in neighboring Fairfax County brought a lawsuit that is pending before the Virginia Supreme Court, so action by the LCPS Board could also have significant financial cost to Loudoun taxpayers.
The claims in the letter are based largely on a highly-controversial opinion from Attorney General Mark Herring, and a policy letter from the Obama administration that is subject to a nationwide injunction from a federal judge. Neither the Herring opinion nor the Obama letter carries force of law.
The ACLU is providing false information when they claim LCPS has an â€œobligation to implement non-discrimination… on the basis of a personâ€™s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.â€ I sued Attorney General Herring over a related question, and he admitted in a May 10, 2016 opinion that
â€¦the law is unsettled whether â€œsex,â€ as used in federal anti-discriminatory statutes, includes â€œgender identityâ€ or â€œsexual orientationâ€ as a categorical matter. Consequently, the scope of that term for the purposes of applying the VHRA is likewise unsettled. â€¦it would be premature at this time to offer a definitive opinion on the question of whether sex discrimination categorically includes sexual-orientation and gender-identity discriminationâ€¦. Neither the Supreme Court nor the Fourth Circuit has decided whether Title VIIâ€™s prohibition on sex-based discrimination per se bars discrimination based on gender identity.â€™
The ACLUâ€™s involvement demonstrates their typical eagerness to fundraise by opposing common-sense laws and pursuing a radical social agenda. They are misleading Loudoun Countyâ€™s elected officials and the public in a way that could bring significant harms to Loudoun County citizens. Our Loudoun County School Board should see through this charade, and I encourage Loudoun County citizens to contact them. We must urge them to reject this foolish attempt to give the ACLU and their radical social agenda a victory they desperately need after their recent resounding electoral defeat.
About Dave LaRock
Delegate Dave LaRock represents the 33rd House District, including parts of Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick Counties, and the towns of Leesburg (partial), Purcellville, Berryville, Lovettsville, Round Hill, Hamilton and Hillsboro. LaRock serves on the Transportation Committee, the Science and Technology Committee and the Education Committee. Dave and his wife, Joanne, have lived in Loudoun for 29 years, building a successful family-owned general contracting business. The LaRocks reside near Hamilton with Laura, Abby and John, the youngest of their seven children.