VICTORY: Bipartisan Virginia Legislators Pass LGBTQ Nondiscrimination BillFebruary 6, 2020 • 2:36 pm
Passage of Virginia Values Act in the House and Senate will make VA the first Southern state to pass comprehensive LGBTQ protections
RICHMOND – Today the Virginia Values Act (SB 868 and HB 1663) passed its third and final readings in both the House and Senate with strong bipartisan support, paving the way for Virginia to become the 21st state — and the first Southern state in the U.S. — to update its law to explicitly provide comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people. The bills now face final procedural steps before going to the desk of Gov. Ralph Northam, who has indicated he will sign the act into law.
“This is a historic day and bright moment for the whole country as Virginia prepares to become the first Southern state to ensure full, comprehensive protections for LGBTQ people from discrimination,” said Kasey Suffredini, CEO and national campaign director of Freedom for All Americans. “The momentum for freedom and fairness in Virginia will reverberate across America as ongoing proof that people of all beliefs and backgrounds — living in red, blue, and purple states — can and do support nondiscrimination protections. Lawmakers in other states and in Congress should follow Virginia’s lead and immediately update our nation’s laws to ensure basic protections that allow every LGBTQ person to live with dignity and respect.”
The victory comes after a years-long effort in which bipartisan lawmakers in the Senate passed LGBTQ protections from discrimination in housing for six years and in employment for four years in a row, but the bills subsequently stalled in the House.
Majorities of Americans in every state, including 68% in Virginia, support LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections in employment, housing and public spaces. Today’s win comes at a pivotal time as the Supreme Court prepares to issue a ruling on three LGBTQ discrimination cases that could strip federal nondiscrimination protections from LGBTQ people – making the passage of statewide protections all the more crucial.
Freedom for All Americans’ CEO and national campaign director Kasey Suffredini is available for interviews with reporters interested in learning more in-depth details about this historic development in Virginia and what it means for other states working to pass nondiscrimination protections. Please contact Angela Dallara to set up an interview.
Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.