Loading...

Virginia Lawmakers Pass Comprehensive LGBTQ Protections

February 7, 2020by Marie Albiges,The Virginian-Pilot (TNS)
Virginia Lawmakers Pass Comprehensive LGBTQ Protections

RICHMOND, Va. — Advocates for people who identify as LGBTQ cheered Thursday as Virginia’s General Assembly passed comprehensive legislation protecting them from discrimination in housing, employment and public spaces.

“This is a historic day and bright moment for the whole country as Virginia prepares to become the first southern state to ensure full, comprehensive protections for LGBTQ people from discrimination,” said Kasey Suffredini, CEO and national campaign director of Freedom for All Americans, in a statement.

The omnibus bill by Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, that passed in the Senate Thursday prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in areas of employment, public places, credit and housing. An identical bill, introduced by Del. Mark Sickles, D-Fairfax, also passed in the House Thursday.

“Today we took another giant step along the path towards a more equal and just Virginia,” Sickles said in a statement after the vote. Lawmakers were wearing heart-shaped rainbow LGBTQ stickers on the floor.

Dubbed the “Virginia Values Act,” the bill prohibits private employers with 15 or more employees from firing or refusing to hire people because of their gender identity or sexual orientation or because they are pregnant. It also adds marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and status as a veteran to the list of ways private employers with SIX to 14 employees can’t discriminate.

All state and local government employees and school board employees will also be covered, even if the agency they work for has fewer than six employees.

The bill also creates a way for the person being discriminated against to file a civil lawsuit, or have the attorney general sue.

Opponents of LGBTQ anti-discrimination bills, including many religious groups, say they would unfairly force people to go against their religious beliefs and viewpoints or face a lawsuit. They say the legislation would allow biological males who identify as female to use the same bathrooms as females, or force women’s shelters to accept transgender women.

“In virtually every situation involving nondiscrimination laws based on one’s ‘sexual orientation’ or ‘gender identity,’ they result in intolerant applications that punish people of sincere religious faith who hold biblical and historic views on marriage and sexuality,” said Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation.

If Gov. Ralph Northam signs the bill— and he’s indicated he will — the changes go into effect July 1.

———

©2020 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)

Visit The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.) at pilotonline.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

In The News

Health

Voting

State News

January 19, 2023
by Dan McCue
Arizona Appeals Court Upholds State’s Mail-In Voting System

PHOENIX — Arizona’s mail-in, early voting process does not violate voters’ constitutional right to privacy, the state Court of Appeals... Read More

PHOENIX — Arizona’s mail-in, early voting process does not violate voters’ constitutional right to privacy, the state Court of Appeals has ruled. Tuesday’s ruling by a three-judge panel is a blow to the Arizona Republican Party and its chair, Kelli Ward, who had previously tried to... Read More

So Long, California: Major County Votes to Study Secession

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (AP) — The November elections saw Californians continue to embrace progressive leadership, but voters in one of... Read More

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (AP) — The November elections saw Californians continue to embrace progressive leadership, but voters in one of the state’s most populous counties are so frustrated with this political direction that they voted to consider seceding and forming their own state. An advisory ballot... Read More

November 8, 2022
by Dan McCue
Health Care Issues on the Ballot in Several States

WASHINGTON — It’s not just the control of the U.S. House and Senate that’s hanging in the balance as voters... Read More

WASHINGTON — It’s not just the control of the U.S. House and Senate that’s hanging in the balance as voters go to the polls today, in states across the nation ballots are being cast on health care issues ranging from abortion to Medicaid expansion and the... Read More

June 21, 2022
by Dan McCue
Justices to Decide Future of Mob Watchdog on Waterfront

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will try to resolve a dispute between New York and New Jersey... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will try to resolve a dispute between New York and New Jersey over the latter’s desire to back out of a 1953 agreement to work together to combat corruption and racketeering on the waterfront docks the two states... Read More

April 13, 2022
by Reece Nations
First Bus of Texas Migrants Arrives Near Capitol 

WASHINGTON — A week after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to begin transporting busloads of migrants to Washington, D.C., the... Read More

WASHINGTON — A week after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to begin transporting busloads of migrants to Washington, D.C., the first transport arrived blocks away from the Capitol building. At Abbott’s direction, the Texas Division of Emergency Management chartered the buses to transport the people apprehended... Read More

February 22, 2022
by Kate Michael
‘Freedom First’ Approach Sees Florida Tourism Grow Beyond Pre-Pandemic Levels

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida tourism is rebounding exceptionally well and even surpassing pre-pandemic levels according to a recent announcement from... Read More

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida tourism is rebounding exceptionally well and even surpassing pre-pandemic levels according to a recent announcement from Gov. Ron DeSantis. The Sunshine State welcomed 30.9 million visitors between October and December 2021, and nearly a full 118 million domestic visitors during the whole... Read More

News From The Well