A Virginia House of Delegates committee on Tuesday voted 16-6 to advance a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s nondiscrimination bill.
The House General Laws Committee passed House Bill 1663, known as the Virginia Values Act that state Del. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax County) introduced.
“We are witnessing a wave of positive progress as LGBTQ-friendly legislation moves through the General Assembly,” said Equality Virginia Executive Director Vee Lamneck. “There is widespread, bipartisan support for the Virginia Values Act. We’re confident lawmakers will quickly pass this legislation to protect LGBTQ Virginians.”
The Senate General Laws and Technology Committee on Wednesday is expected to vote on a Senate version of the bill sponsored by state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) introduced.
James Parrish, director of the Virginia Values Coalition, which supports the bill, is encouraged by its progress in the General Assembly.
“These nondiscrimination protections are critical to ensuring that LGBTQ people have the freedom to go about their daily lives with safety, privacy and dignity,” he said.