Virginia Governor Ralph Northam on
Thursday ceremonially signed an LGBT protections bill.
The Virginia Values Act added sexual
orientation and gender identity to the state's nondiscrimination law.
Virginia is the first Southern state to enact such a law.
Northam, a Democrat, signed the bill in
April and the law took effect on July 1. But a signing ceremony was
postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ceremony took place at Diversity
Richmond, an LGBT community center. In attendance were First Lady Pam
Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring, state Senator Adam Ebbin,
Equality Virginia Executive Director Vee Lamneck, and Virginia Values
Coalition Director James Parrish, the Washington Blade
“This … is an exciting day for
said. “It has been a team effort and together, together we have
all come a long way.”
Several LGBT rights bills, including
the Virginia Values Act, cleared the General Assembly after
Republicans lost control in November.