A bill that seeks to prohibit LGBT
discrimination in Virginia cleared its final legislative hurdle on
Wednesday, the Washington Blade reported.
Passage makes Virginia the first
Southern state with such a law.
The Virginia Values Act adds sexual
orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes in
the state's nondiscrimination law.
Democratic Governor Ralph Northam
requested the legislation, making it almost certain he'll sign it
Virginia will become the 23rd
state to protect LGBT persons from discrimination.
State Senator Adam Ebbin, an openly gay
Democrat from Alexandria who sponsored the legislation in the Senate,
said in a statement that the law was overdue.
“The Virginia Values Act represents
decades of hard work on the part of advocates, constituents, and many
colleagues in the legislature,” Ebbin
said. “It is long past time that every Virginian – members of
the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, people of color and
veterans – be treated equally under the law.”
A raft of LGBT bills were introduced
this legislative session after Democrats took control of the House
and Senate for the first time since 1996.