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 reported.

“This … is an exciting day for Virginia,” Northam 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.