The Virginia Senate on Friday approved
two LGBT protections bills.
Senate Bill 1109 would prohibit
discrimination in housing on the basis of sexual orientation and
gender identity, while Senate Bill 998 would prohibit such
discrimination in employment.
According to the Washington
Blade, both bills passed with large majorities and bipartisan
State Senator Adam Ebbin, an openly gay
Democrat from Alexandria, introduced Senate Bill 998, while Senator
Jennifer McClellan, a Democrat from Richmond, introduced Senate Bill
Both bills have cleared the Senate
three previous times, only to die in the House of Delegates.
LGBT groups called on the
Republican-controlled House to approve the legislation.
“It's time for the House of Delegates
to finally take up and pass these bills,” Equality Virginia
Executive Director James Parrish said in a statement. “It's not
controversial, it's common sense.”
“These are basic non-discrimination
protections that LGBTQ Virginians need and deserve, and that will
make the commonwealth a more welcoming and inclusive place for all
Virginians,” said Marty Rouse, HRC National Field Director. “Voters
in Virginia – who continue to elect more and more pro-equality
lawmakers – simply have no appetite for discrimination and want to
be sure that their friends and neighbors are protected the same way
they are. It’s essential for the future of Virginia that
pro-equality legislators in the House act on these non-discrimination
bills and ensure that these long-overdue protections are passed.”