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LGBT equality bills pass Senate committee

This afternoon, the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee advanced Senator Adam P. Ebbin‘s SB783, addressing nondiscrimination in public employment, and Senator Jennifer Wexton‘s SB822, targeting discriminatory, anti-LGBT practices in public housing.

Both bills passed with strong, bipartisan support and now make their way to the Senate Floor.
SB 783 prohibits discrimination in public employment on basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
SB 822 prohibits discriminatory housing practices on basis of sexual orientation and gender.

“My bill simply brings the Code in line with what has been the policy under three of the last four governors in regards to state employment,” said Ebbin, D-Alexandria. “Government employees at all levels should be judged solely on the basis of their abilities and qualifications. As we build a 21st century economy, Virginia must be open and welcoming to all.”

“Businesses won’t want to locate in the Commonwealth if their employees face discrimination in housing,” said Wexton, D-Loudoun. “I’m glad that the Senate has once again reported this bill that will extend basic human rights for LGBT Virginians.”

“A person’s sexual orientation and gender identity have nothing to do with whether that person will be a good tenant or a competent employee,” said Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, who in 2015  cast the tie breaking vote in the Senate in favor of passing similar legislation. 

“No Virginian should be pushed out of their home or their job because of who they are or who they love. I applaud the Senate committee for advancing policies to ensure Virginia is open and welcoming to all,” Northam said.