Biden HHS pick Dr. Rachel Levine possibly first openly transgender Senate-confirmed federal official

Congratulations to Dr. Rachel Levine – Pennsylvania’s Health Secretary – on being nominated for assistant secretary of Health and Human Services! She could make history by becoming the first openly transgender Senate-confirmed federal official. Click here to read the article about this history-making nomination.

Biden signs EO implementing Supreme Court ruling for LGBTQ rights

Today on Inauguration Day, we are encouraged to see a dramatic shift in the incoming president’s commitment to LGBTQ equality, which includes an Executive Order on his first day of office to ensure the federal government fully implements the Supreme Court’s ruling last summer that the protections against sex discrimination in the Civil Rights Act cover LGBTQ people.

Under this new administration, we remain steadfast in our commitment to move equality forward and address the disparities still facing LGBTQ Virginians, particularly Black, brown, trans, and non-binary communities.

Click here to read the article about this important move at the federal level for LGBTQ equality.

Richmond City Council passes trans-affirming shelter policies

We’re thrilled to announce the Richmond City Council passed Resolution 2020-R072 last night with strong, unanimous support!

The resolution affirms the right for transgender and non-binary Richmonders to access safe and affirming shelters, and calls for the city’s shelters to adopt policies to that end. Check out this article to learn more!

This resolution helps Richmond to implement the Virginia Values Act, the state law banning discrimination against LGBTQ people in public accommodations (including shelters), housing, and employment!

This action establishes a model for how cities and counties across the Commonwealth can comply with the Virginia Values Act’s promise of equal treatment for all Virginians in daily life!

hank you to the mayor and city council members for their support. This work also would not have been possible without the action of dozens of LGBTQ+ and allied organizations throughout Richmond who have advocated for this change for months (and even years)!

2021 General Assembly Session Kickoff

As the 2021 General Assembly session starts today, Equality Virginia looks forward to defending last year’s historic gains and making new progress on the disparities still facing LGBTQ Virginians.

On Monday, January 11, we hosted our virtual 2021 General Assembly Kickoff where we discussed how Virginians can get involved to support the pro-equality bills we’re organizing around this year, and heard from legislators and advocates involved in moving them forward. Check out this event recap and learn more about our 2021 Equality Agenda from this Washington Blade article!

Looking ahead, we invite you to grab your breakfast and join us every Monday morning during the 2021 GA session for our virtual Bagels & Bills series to stay updated on the state of LGBTQ equality at the Virginia General Assembly! Our first event is this coming Monday, January 18 at 8:00am. Register today for a chance to win a Panera gift card!

Governor’s budget would ensure Medicaid covers transition-related care

We are excited to see the Governor’s budget include a provision that will ensure transgender and non-binary Virginians on Medicaid are able to receive the medically necessary, transition-related care they need. Transition-related care saves lives and enables trans Virginians to thrive!

If it passes, this will be an important step forward for healthcare access and LGBTQ equality in our Commonwealth, so we will be sure to watch this legislation and keep you updated on its progress in the General Assembly. Check out this article from Virginia Mercury to learn more!