A bill that prohibits discrimination
based on sexual orientation and gender identity has been introduced
in the Virginia Senate.
Senator Adam Ebbin, an openly gay
Democrat, introduced the Virginia Values Act (SB 868) on Wednesday,
January 8. The bill has been referred to the Senate General Laws and
Technology Committee, the Washington
The bill would protect LGBT people in
employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit.
Last year, the Democratic Party
regained control of the House and Senate for the first time since
The legislation has the support of
Governor Ralph Northam, Senate Majority Leader Dick Seslaw, and House
Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn.
Alphonso David, president of the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate,
noted last year's election results in a press release announcing the
“In November 2019 – after one of
the largest state legislative electoral investments in the history of
the Human Rights Campaign – Virginia voters sent a clear message
that they want lawmakers to support fairness and equality for all,
including LGBTQ people,” David said.
“For years, LGBTQ people living in
Virginia have faced discrimination. The Virginia Values Act will not
only provide critical protections for LGBTQ Virginians, but expand
existing civil rights laws to provide recourse for discrimination on
the basis of race, religion, sex, and veteran status. Virginia voters
sent pro-equality majorities to Richmond to make this change, and we
look forward to working with the House of Delegates and the Senate to
pass the Virginia Values Act into law,” he said.