- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 22, 2002

RICHMOND A state school that announced last week it would no longer create human embryos for stem-cell research would be permanently banned from any such work under an amendment to a bill proposing a change of the school's name.
Delegate Robert G. Marshall, Prince William Republican, called for the amendment on the floor of the House of Delegates, saying that society "has no business tinkering with human life this way."
If Mr. Marshall's amendment becomes law, the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk would not be allowed to access the 60 existing stem-cell lines derived from human embryos that President Bush said could be used last summer.
"They've got to be pulled in, reined in," Mr. Marshall said of EVMS.
It is already illegal in Virginia to clone a human being, and the Jones Institute said last week that it would not create human embryos for its stem-cell research, but would still use "leftover" embryos from in vitro fertilization procedures for human stem-cell research.
Roger G. Gosden, EVMS' scientific director, said last week that the institute wants to access stem-cell lines authorized by Mr. Bush.
Jane Gardner, an EVMS spokeswoman, said no one could be found to comment on Mr. Marshall's legislation.
Critics of embryonic research argue doctors and scientists are destroying life, while supporters say the research is needed to find cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Mr. Marshall's action surprised Delegate Robert Tata, the Virginia Beach Republican who sponsored the bill to change EVMS to the school's more commonly used name, the Medical College of Hampton Roads.
Some Republicans said legislation is necessary to ensure EVMS cannot reverse course and perform stem-cell research using human embryos in the future.
"All they have is a policy decision. There is nothing that binds them to avoid these tragic practices," said Delegate Richard H. Black, Loudoun Republican.
Another controversial piece of legislation sponsored by Mr. Marshall was endorsed yesterday in the House Education Committee. By a vote of 15-7, the committee sent to the House floor a bill that would require public schools to post signs with the phrase "In God We Trust," which became the national motto in 1954.
The House Courts of Justice also passed the bill 21-1. Last year, the bill passed the House, but was killed in the Senate Education and Health Committee.
A bill that would allow school boards to approve the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools is expected to be voted on Friday in the House Courts of Justice Committee.
Supporters and critics of that measure sponsored by L. Scott Lingamfelter, Prince William Republican said afterward that the bill will likely be killed in committee.
"What we are suggesting with respect to the Ten Commandments is that their posting points us toward the fundamental values that underlie the Judeo-Christian ethics and precepts that are the basis of our democratic republic," Mr. Lingamfelter told the committee.
Delegate Brian J. Moran, Alexandria Democrat, said the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1980 that posting the Ten Commandments in public schools was unconstitutional, but he said the legislation will probably pass through in committee.
"We're going to wind up defending a case we'll ultimately lose," Mr. Moran said.
Also yesterday, Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, cast his first tie-breaking vote in the 40-member Senate.
He voted in favor of a bill that would allow voting materials to be printed in a language other than English. The legislation does not apply statewide to voters, only to Arlington County and Alexandria, which have large Hispanic populations.


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