The parental rights bill sponsored by Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-17) passed the Senate 24-16 Thursday afternoon. The bill now goes to the Virginia House.
The bill, SB908, "[p]rovides that parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children and such right shall not be infringed by the government unless the governmental interest as applied to the parents is of the highest order and not otherwise served," according to the bill summary.
Senate Courts of Justice Committee attorney Steve Benjamin expressed concern earlier in the week "that the bill could confer rights on noncustodial parents or even sperm donors," according to Newstimes.com.
The committee voted 8-6 to send the bill to the entire senate.
But Reeves wants the law passed to stop what he calls "an encroachment on parental rights."
He said the bill would codify what is already in Virginia law.
Voting for the bill were Alexander, Black, Blevins, Carrico, Colgan, Garrett, Hanger, Herring, Martin, McDougle, McWaters, Newman, Norment, Northam, Obenshain, Petersen, Puckett, Reeves, Ruff, Smith, Stanley, Stosch, Stuart, Vogel, Wagner, Watkins.
Voting against were Barker, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Howell, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Marsh, McEachin, Miller, Puller, Saslaw.
The 17th District of Virginia includes Albemarle County (Part); Culpeper County (Part); Fredericksburg City (All); Louisa County (Part); Orange County (All); Spotsylvania County (Part).