New laws advancing LGBTQ+ rights take effect in Virginia on July 1


(© kenchiro168 –

A new law making Virginia the first state in the South to enact comprehensive protections for the LGBTQ+ community against discrimination in housing, employment, public spaces, and credit applications takes effect on July 1.

The Virginia Values Act was one of several pieces of legislation advancing LGBTQ+ rights signed into law this year.

Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation banning the harmful and controversial practice of “conversion therapy” for minors, which attempts to forcibly change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. And he signed new measures that increase protections for transgender students in Virginia public schools, give localities greater authority to ban discrimination, expand the definition of a hate crime to include criminal acts based gender identity and sexual orientation, and make it easier for LGBTQ+ individuals to obtain a birth certificate that matches their gender identity.

These laws also become effective July 1.

At the beginning of the month, the governor issued a proclamation declaring June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in the Commonwealth of Virginia to celebrate the state’s LGBTQ+ communities and their fight for inclusion and equality.

“This Pride Month, we are reminded of the pivotal moments when LGBTQ+ Americans stood up to demand that they be treated with respect and dignity,” Northam said. “As we celebrate long-overdue progress in advancing LGBTQ+ rights in our country and Commonwealth, we must also redouble our efforts to ensure Virginia is inclusive and welcoming to all––no matter who you are, who you love, or how you identify.”

Each June, Pride Month commemorates the riots at Stonewall Inn in New York City that began on June 28, 1969, and mark the birth of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.

Pride Month also celebrates several landmark rulings from the United States Supreme Court that upheld LGBTQ+ rights and advanced equality in the United States, including decisions that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, which guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, and affirmed that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ+ employees from discrimination based on sex in 2020.

On Saturday Northam will join LGBTQ+ activists and world leaders for Global Pride 2020, a 24-hour virtual Pride event organized in response to the hundreds of Pride celebrations that have been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor’s pre-recorded message will air between 4:30 PM and 6:30 PM Eastern. See the full line up of speakers and performers here.

Global Pride will be broadcast at  and on Todrick Hall’s YouTubeFacebook, and Revry.


UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell

Buy here.

augusta free press news
augusta free press news
augusta free press news