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 into law.

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.