Amazon, Dell, and Verizon are among the
more than 30 companies calling on Virginia lawmakers to approve a
bill that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation
and gender identity.
Committees in both the House of
Delegates and Senate last week started hearings on the bill, titled
the Virginia Values Act.
open letter released by the Virginia Values Coalition and
addressed to House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and Senate Majority
Leader Richard Saslaw, the business leaders argue that the bill would
be good for business: “Because many LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ workers
prefer to live and work in communities with nondiscrimination
protections, such a law will give Virginia's employers tangible
advantages in recruitment and retention.”
“An environment with equal
opportunities for all will also encourage new investments, attract
tourism dollars, and empower all Virginians to realize their full
potential,” they added.
Signers to the letter include
Accenture, Advance Auto Parts, Altria Group, Inc., Amalgamated Bank,
Amazon, Inc., American Airlines, Anheuser Busch, AT&T, Capital
One, Cummins, Inc., Dell Technologies, Dominion Energy, Dow Inc.,
Ernst & Young LLP, HCA Virginia Health System, Hilton, Huntington
Ingalls Industries, IBM Corporation, Inova, Marriott International,
Inc., Marsh & McLennan Companies, INC., Newport News
Shipbuilding, Reed Smith, Royal Bank of Canada, Salesforce,
Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, Danone North America, Mars,
Incorporated, Nestlé USA, Unilever United States, Trillium Asset
Management, Verizon, and WestRock.
Virginia lawmakers are considering at
least five LGBT rights bills – four of which have cleared the
Senate approves bill banning “ex-gay” therapy; two transgender
The flood of LGBT rights bills were
introduced after Democrats regained control of the House and Senate
for the first time since 1996.