A bill that seeks to prohibit
discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
cleared the Virginia Senate on Thursday.
The Virginia Values Act cleared the
Senate with a 30-9 vote.
The bill was introduced in the Senate
by Senator Adam Ebbin, a Democrat from Alexandria who is openly gay.
The House of Delegates on Wednesday
approved its version of the Virginia Values Act introduced by
Democratic Delegate Mark Sickles, who is gay. The legislation cleared
the House with a 59-39 vote.
The two bills must be reconciled before
final legislation is sent to Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, who
has said he will sign it into law.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, applauded passage of the bill.
“Today, history was made in Virginia,
and LGBTQ Virginians are one step closer to being protected from
discrimination simply because of who they are or whom they love,”
said HRC President Alphonso David.
The proposed legislation is among at
least five LGBT rights bills introduced after Democrats regained
control of the House and Senate for the first time since 1996.
that would repeal same-sex marriage ban clears Virginia House.)