February 12, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Va. House subcommittee tables anti-LGBT discrimination bill

A. Donald McEachin, Henrico County, Virginia, Senate, Democratic Party, gay news, Washington Blade

Virginia Sen. A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

A Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee on Tuesday tabled a bill that would have banned discrimination against LGBT state employees.

The House General Laws Subcommittee on Professions/Occupations and Administrative Process killed Senate Bill 701 nearly three weeks after the state Senate approved the measure.

“State employees must now go another year without workplace protections,” James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia, said. “It’s downright disrespectful that this subcommittee did not listen to the thousands of Virginians that messaged their delegates and senators over the past two months in support of protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender state employees.”

Anna Scholl, executive director of ProgressVA, also criticized lawmakers who killed SB 701.

“It’s outrageous that a few state Delegates refuse to ensure Virginia law reflects the basic tenet of fairness and provide workplace protections for all Virginians,” she said. “No citizen should fear the loss of their livelihood because of who they are and who they love..”

State Sens. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico,) co-sponsored the measure.

“I am extremely disappointed and dismayed that the members of the House of Delegates subcommittee, along party lines, refused to offer equal protection and simple fairness to all citizens of Virginia,” McEachin told the Washington Blade. “All Virginians deserve equal opportunity and justice and to be judged by their performance on the job, not by another other irrelevant characteristics.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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