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01.26.16 -- VA Senate Committee Approves Two Anti-Discrimination Bills

Members of the Virginia Senate General Laws and Technology Committee on Jan. 25, 2016, approved two anti-discrimination bills. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Members of a Virginia Senate committee on Monday approved two anti-discrimination bills.

Senate Bill 12, which would ban anti-LGBT discrimination against state employees, passed in the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee by a 9-4 vote margin.

Ebbin voted for SB 12 alongside state Sens. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), J. Chapman Petersen (D-Fairfax City), George Barker (D-Fairfax County), Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Winchester), Jennifer Wexton (D-Loudoun County), Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax County), Jeremy McPike (D-Prince William County) and David Suetterlein (R-Roanoke).State Sens. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico County) introduced the bill that would codify into law Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s 2014 executive order banning discrimination against state employees based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

State Sens. Frank Ruff, (R-Mecklenburg County) Richard Stuart (R-Stafford County), Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsvylvania County) and Thomas Garrett (R-Buckingham County) voted against SB 12. State Sen. William DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) abstained.

The committee on Monday also approved Senate Bill 67, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Virginia Fair Housing Act.

The measure, which Wexton introduced, passed by a 10-4 vote margin.

The Loudoun County Democrat voted for SB 67 alongside Locke, Petersen, Barker, Vogel, Ebbin, Surovell, DeSteph, McPike and Suetterlein. Ruff, Stuart, Reeves and Garrett opposed it.