Delegate Todd Gilbert on HB1617

HouseGOP2013 General Assembly Session, Issues

Today, the House of Delegates voted to pass House Bill 1617, a piece of legislation I patroned that protects the freedom of association for individuals, organizations and clubs on Virginia’s college campuses. This bill will prevent organizations that want to have selective membership – like the college Democrats or college Republicans – from being required to admit members who don’t share their beliefs.

Right now, some Virginia colleges and universities operate under “all comers” policies that require organizations to admit any applicant and even allows those applicants to seek leadership positions. Under this policy, I could have been President of my schools’ college Democrats organization. It also means a Christian organization is required to admit those who don’t share their faith or that an atheist student group is required to admit a practicing Christian.

This bill would protect those organizations and their freedom to associate. This is a common sense measure that achieved bipartisan support and is about protecting a fundamentally American principle.

– Delegate Todd Gilbert