“I’m here because I’m excited about Joe Biden and excited about him being President — but I wanted to just step back for a moment though to talk about the possibilities that we have when we have a pro-equality executive and a pro-equality legislature. This year in Virginia, after having an anti-equality legislature for so long, we were able to pass the Virginia Values Act, which is our most comprehensive civil rights law probably ever, dealing with non-discrimination in the areas of employment and housing and public accommodation, including sexual orientation, gender identity, and so many other areas. We were able to do that and we need an executive at the federal level, for the remaining twenty states or so that don’t have laws like that in place. We were able to have the Supreme Court help with employment but that doesn’t help with the array of rights and housing and public accommodation that we need for everyone to have. So, we need Joe Biden to lead us towards a trifecta,” said State Senator Adam Ebbin.
Virginia Lawmakers Announce Plans To Legalize Marijuana, One Day After Decriminalization Takes EffectJuly 6, 2020News Clip
Ebbin said that despite the meaningful step of decriminalization, the state still has a long way to go.
“Today Virginia is taking an important first step in reducing the harm caused by the criminalization of cannabis,” he said in a statement. “The prohibition of marijuana has failed and the consequence of this failure has been felt overwhelmingly by Virginians of color, but it has not ended. It will only end when it is replaced by a regulated adult-use market that emphasizes equity—making whole those who have been burdened most by making sure they have a seat at the table and access to the marketplace. We are looking forward to doing the hard work needed to get this right.”
In addition to expanding existing protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity, the law also creates all-new protections for Virginians in private employment and places of public accommodation on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, and status as a veteran. Virginia is the first state in the South to have non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, the first state in over a decade to add both sexual orientation
Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has launched Out for Biden, a get-out-the-vote initiative aimed at mobilizing LGBTQ+ support for the Democratic nominee.
There are 11 million LGBTQ+ voters in the nation, representing all racial and economic backgrounds, and the initiative will seek to mobilize them in key battleground states, working with other pro-equality forces and along intersectional lines, campaign officials said.
Richmond, VA: Democratic Governor Ralph Northam has signed legislation (Senate Bill 2 | House Bill 972) decriminalizing marijuana possession. The new law takes effect July 1, 2020 and reduces penalties for offenses involving personal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a civil violation – punishable by a maximum $25 fine, no arrest, and no criminal record.
Senate Bill 868, sponsored by Senator Adam Ebbin, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, public and private employment, public accommodations, and access to credit.
“I am grateful to Governor Northam for signing the Virginia Values Act, which represents years of dedicated work by activists, legislators, and progressive members of our business community to ensure full protection for every Virginian under the law,” said Senator Adam Ebbin. “Sadly, during times of crisis like these, discrimination rises, and its effects become more apparent. When jobs are scarce and housing unaffordable, the reality of who you are must be an additional hurdle to putting food on the table or providing shelter for your family. This law provides important new protections.”
Trash on streets and in waterways, most of it plastic and styrofoam, is an increasingly common sight in Northern Virginia. But local legislators, and activists like Le Menestrel, have something to celebrate. Looking back on the session, not all of the proposed anti-plastic bills passed, but some of them did:
SB11 - by Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-39). Local disposable plastic bag tax. Authorizes any county or city, beginning no earlier than January 1, 2021, to impose a tax of five cents per bag on disposable plastic bags provided to consumers by certain retailers, with certain bags being exempt from the tax.
Editor: I am writing to thank state Sen. Adam Ebbin for voting in favor of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, a bill that sets a blueprint for a 100-percent clean energy standard by 2045.
This historic legislation is now off to Gov. Northam’s desk.
This is a huge win for birds and people as climate change threatens the very existence of the commonwealth. Warming temperatures make it harder for humans to live happy and healthy lives, and put at risk our feathered friends like the cerulean warbler and the red-headed woodpecker. The measure is a practical, ambitious climate solution we need now more than ever.
It’s been a long-running fight for Ebbin, who represents parts of Arlington and has frequently proposed decriminalization laws with limited success.
“This is going to make a tremendous difference in up to 30,000 Virginians lives who receive a criminal charge each year,” Ebbin told ARLnow. “They’ll no longer have the repercussions that come with a criminal charge. I think we’ll be in a much better place with a modest fine.”
As the 2020 session of the Virginia General Assembly draws to a close, it leaves behind several major pro-LGBTQ measures that include sweeping nondiscrimination protections and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
“In 60 short days, the most diverse coalition of (Virginia Democrats) to ever control the General Assembly permanently changed the future of Virginia for the better,” tweeted state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria). “And we’re just getting started.”
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