Two pro-LGBT bills move forward in Virginia Senate

The Virginia Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology moved two bills banning discrimination forward to the full Senate yesterday.

Senate Bill 783, put forward by Sen Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), would ban discrimination against state employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It passed by a vote of 12-3.

Senate Bill 822 was put forward by Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Loudon County) and would add protection for LGBT people to the Virginia Fair Housing Law. It passed 11-3.

A person’s sexual orientation and gender identity have nothing to do with whether that person will be a good tenant or a competent employee. No Virginian should be pushed out of their home or their job because of who they are or who they love. I applaud the Senate committee for advancing policies to ensure Virginia is open and welcoming to all.

--Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam

This comes four days after a House subcommittee tabled a bill which would have prevented school boards in the state from adding sexual orientation or gender identity to their non-discrimination policies. The same subcommittee killed a bill that would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to the Virginia anti-discrimination law.

At the beginning of the month Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order banning anti-LGBT discrimination among state employees, contractors, and subcontractors.

Starting today, the commonwealth of Virginia will not do business with entities that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Virginia is home to the best state workforce in the country and this policy will ensure there is no question that all Virginians are to receive the full benefits of their citizenship, without regard to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

--Gov. McAuliffe

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