Thanks to a bill passed by the Republican House of Delegates, Democratic state Senate and signed into law by the Republican Governor, life just improved for gay people in the Commonwealth of Virginia. And all without spending one dime of taxpayer money or limiting the freedom of private enterprise. Indeed, this law expands their freedom, allowing companies to offer a greater range of benefits:
Previously, state law permitted Virginia residents to take out group life insurance coverage only for a legal spouse or a child under age 25. But the new statute, which takes effect July 1, broadens that group of people to include anyone with whom a Virginia resident has a substantial and economic interest, including a same-sex partner.
A Republican Delegate Tom Rust of Fairfax served as this bill’s “patron”. Strikingly,
Previous versions of the bill allowed Virginia residents to designate someone from “any other class of persons” they wanted as a life insurance beneficiary, while the enacted version changes this language to “any other person” with whom the insured group member has an insurable interest.
The legislation notably failed in the two previous sessions when there were a greater number of Democratic lawmakers in the General Assembly and a Democratic governor. It passed during the administration of a Republican governor who’s not considered gay friendly.
Whether or not Governor Bob McDonnell is gay friendly or not, he does appear to be “freedom friendly”. This elimination of a regulation benefits a lot of people, gays in particular. Gay men and lesbians in the Old Dominion can now take out policies benefiting their partner.
We don’t need gay friendly Governors to improve life for gay people. We just need Governors who are opposed to laws which limit our freedom. So, let’s hope legislators in other states follow the lead of the Virginia counterparts and eliminate those laws which limit the freedom of people to enter into contracts. “Gay rights” then would not be gay rights per se, but just rights — getting the government out of our way so we can live our lives as we choose.