Ebbin and McEachin Bill Would Codify Protections for LGBT State Employees; Now Heads to House of Delegates
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Richmond, VA – Senate Bill 701, a measure to protect Virginia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) state employees from workplace discrimination, passed the Senate with a 24-16 vote.
"We're going to press forward with this momentum," said Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), a co-chief patron of the bill. "No state employee should ever doubt Virginia's commitment to equal opportunity for all. This assures state employees that they will be judged solely on their merits and that discrimination has no place in Virginia." Ebbin first sponsored similar legislation in 2007 as a member of the House of Delegates and has done so every year since.
The bill has received support from 46 co-patrons in both in the House and Senate. Equality Virginia, who lobbied in support of SB701, recorded over 11,000 messages to General Assembly members in support of the legislation.
Of Virginia’s top 25 private employers, at least 80 percent have nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation and 60 percent also include gender identity. The legislation, if passed by the House of Delegates and signed by the Governor, would ensure that LGBT state employees are awarded the same protections against discrimination as are employees at a majority of top private sector employers in Virginia.
Speaking about SB701, Senator Ebbin said “it is time that Virginia law reflect the opinion of its citizenry.” Similarly, Senator Don McEachin (D-Henrico)—the other co-chief patron—commented that “the people must continue to lead the legislature and remind the House that Virginia is an open state and welcoming to all folks as we move this bill ahead.”