January 26, 2016 at 11:14 am EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Va. Senate committee approves two anti-discrimination bills

Virginia, gay news, Washington Blade

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.

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.

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. 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.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • The Bill ban “state” employment discrimination. By state, does that apply “only” to those employed by state government or does it apply to everyone including private sector employment? We need comprehensive protections not just protections that serve only a limited sector of people.

    • I am the opposite. The government should not regulate private employment practices, but the government shouldn’t discriminate against lbgt employees. I am a libertarian.

      • The post is two years old but you reply to it now? We’re you in a coma?

        You can’t have it both ways! Laws prevent discrimination and we need consistency from one employer to the other! We don’t need to be navigating mind fields to earn a living!

        You screwed up libertarians never get it!

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