RICHMOND, VA – On Thursday, February 6th, the Virginia Senate passed Senator Adam Ebbin’s (D-Alexandria) SB868, which comprehensively bans discrimination in housing, public and private employment, credit, and public accommodations for LGBTQ Virginians, and bans discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, or status and a veteran in public accommodations.
“Our journey is not complete until our every person — members of the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, and veterans included — are treated like anyone else under the law,” Said Senator Adam Ebbin. “This legislation is needed and it is urgent. Discrimination is happening today in Virginia. It is time to drive it out. Until we do, Virginians will continue to suffer psychological, physical, and economic vandalism simply because of who they are or who they love.”
The bill passed on a bipartisan, 30-9 vote; it was copatroned by Senator Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax) and Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond City). It’s companion bill HB 1663, patroned by Delegate Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax), passed the House 59-35 yesterday as well. Virginia is the first state in the Southeast to pass such protections. The legislation was also championed by a number of groups including the Virginia Values Coalition, Equality Virginia, and the Human Rights Coalition.
“As a former Jim Crow State, it is critical to pass nondiscrimination legislation — not just in housing and employment, but for public business as well. This is a statement of our values,” said Senator Ebbin.