September 6, 2016 at 9:00 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Prince William schools to consider LGBT nondiscrimination policy

Muriel Bowser, gay news, Washington Blade

The Prince William County School Board on Sept. 7, 2016, will hold a public hearing on whether to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the district’s nondiscrimination policy. (Photo via Bigstock)

The Prince William County School Board on Wednesday will hold a public hearing on whether to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the district’s nondiscrimination policy.

The hearing will take place at the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center in Manassas. The school board is scheduled to vote on the proposal on Sept. 21.

The Fairfax County School Board added sexual orientation and gender identity to their district’s nondiscrimination policy in November 2014 and May 2015 respectively.

The Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit against the Fairfax County School District last December on behalf of Jake Doe, a minor, his parents and Traditional Values Coalition President Andrea Lafferty. The anti-LGBT legal group alleges members of the Fairfax County School Board violated Virginia law when it added sexual orientation and gender identity to the nondiscrimination policy.

Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Brett Kassabian dismissed the lawsuit earlier this year. The Liberty Counsel appealed the ruling to the Virginia Supreme Court, which was asked to hear the case on Sept. 1.

Attorney General Mark Herring in March 2015 said Virginia law allows school districts to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies. The opinion overturned then-Attorney General Jerry Kilgore’s 2002 opinion that said officials cannot add LGBT-specific language to such provisions, unless the General Assembly were to pass a law allowing them to do so.

Virginia’s statewide nondiscrimination law does not include sexual orientation or gender identity. State Del. Bob Marshall, who is a vocal opponent of LGBT rights in the General Assembly, represents Prince William County in the state House of Delegates.

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

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