Four LGBT rights bills cleared the
Virginia Senate on Tuesday.
A bill that would prohibit therapies
that attempt to alter the sexual orientation and gender identity of
LGBT youth passed with a 20-18 vote, the Washington Blade
reported. Eighteen states plus the District of Columbia prohibit such
The Senate also approved two
transgender rights bills. One would allow transgender students to use
school facilities consistent with their gender identity, while the
other would make it easier for transgender people to update their
name and sex on their birth certificate.
A fourth bill, approved with a 25-13
vote, seeks to repeal the state's ban on same-sex marriage. While
unenforceable since a 2014 ruling, same-sex marriage has been
prohibited by statute in Virginia since 1975. In 2006, voters
approved a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a
heterosexual union. The Supreme Court in 2015 ruled that gay and
lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry, effectively
striking down such bans nationwide.
A bill that would prohibit
discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has
also been introduced. The Senate General Laws Committee will hear
testimony on the bill on Wednesday.
protections bill introduced in Virginia.)
The flood of LGBT rights bills were
introduced after Democrats regained control of the House and Senate
for the first time since 1996.