A bill from Attorney General Mark Herring and House Majority Leader Charniele Herring to make the Office of Civil Rights a permanent part of the Office of Attorney General is headed to the governor’s desk.
Herring created the Office of Civil Rights to expand, enhance, and centralize his ongoing work to secure and expand the civil rights of Virginians, and to protect all Virginians from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, or other protected status.
The designation of the Office of Civil Rights was the culmination of a multiyear plan to expand the authority and resources dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Virginians, and to place the protection of civil rights at the center of the mission of the Office of Attorney General.
“The Senate’s passage of this landmark civil rights legislation is another step in the Commonwealth’s journey towards justice, equality and opportunity for all Virginians. Every single person who calls Virginia home has the right to live here free from the fear of being discriminated against or denied an opportunity because of who they are, what they look like, whom they love, or how they worship,” Mark Herring said. “During my time in office I have worked tirelessly to protect, expand and defend Virginian’s civil rights and the creation of the Office of Civil Rights was really a way to enhance and centralize that ongoing work.
“For too long, my predecessors used the Office of the Attorney General as a way to limit the civil rights of Virginians, but with this legislation this office is now codified in state code and will be a permanent fixture in this Office. I want to thank Majority Leader Charniele Herring for her leadership in sponsoring this historic bill and her dedication to ensuring its passage in both chambers.”
“Virginians should never have to worry about their civil rights not being protected and they should be proud to know that it is now a permanent part of the mission if the Office of the Attorney General,” Majority Leader Charniele Herring said. “Virginia has come a long way from a time when the Attorney General fought hard to tell us who we could or could not marry, or to keep people like me out of our public schools. When Attorney General Herring created the Office of Civil Rights, he demonstrated just how committed he was to justice, and with this legislation, that commitment is now a permanent part of the Office of Attorney General.”