Augusta Free Press

Nondiscrimination bills pass State Senate

Today, the Virginia Senate passed two bills outlawing discrimination against the LGBT community.

Senator Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria) got his bill, SB 783, passed in order to codify nondiscrimination in public employment as the official policy of the state.

Ebbin’s bill prohibits discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, as defined in the bill. The bill also codifies for state and local government employment the current prohibitions on discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran.

Senator Jennifer Wexton (D-Loudoun) got her bill, SB 822, passed to make housing discrimination against the LGBT community illegal. 

Weston’s bill adds discrimination on the basis of an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity as an unlawful housing practice. The bill defines sexual orientation and gender identity.

Said Senator Ebbin, “Nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity has been the policy under three of the last four administrations. There is no reason that, in 2017, applicants’ sexualities and gender identities should preclude them from being hired for a job for which they are qualified. If a candidate is the most qualified, they should be hired.”

Said Senator Wexton, “It’s long past time that we get rid of the shameful practice of people being denied housing based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. I am proud my Senate colleagues understand that we have to move forward on this issue. I hope our colleagues in the House of Delegates share that wisdom.”