Equality Virginia Calls on Advocates: Speak Out Against Conversion Therapy!

For years, Equality Virginia has advocated to ban the practice of so-called “conversion therapy” or sexual orientation change efforts for minors in Virginia. During the 2020 General Assembly session, Senator Scott Surovell’s SB 245 and Delegate Patrick Hope’s HB 386  passed through the legislature, which means that state-licensed professionals are now prohibited from practicing conversion therapy on minors. Now, anyone who is licensed by the Virginia Department of Health Professions will face disciplinary action if they practice conversion therapy on anyone under age 18. The law also bans the use of state funds for conducting conversion therapy. 

Currently, all five Virginia boards that license health care providers – including psychologists, counselors, social workers, medical health providers, and nurses – are working to ensure that their internal regulatory processes align with the new Virginia law. 

We are asking Virginians to take action in the regulatory process. The public comment forum for the Board of Nursing and the Board of Medicine will be open through September 30th, 2020. We encourage you to submit your comments in support of the regulatory update: 

Public Comment:Board of Nursing 

Public Comment:Board of Medicine 


Virginia law now bans the practice of conversion therapy on minors, and the state licensing boards are taking appropriate action to update their internal processes to reflect this update to the law. Use these talking points to craft the message that you will submit:

  • I support this regulatory action, which protects youth from so-called “conversion therapy,” a dangerous and discredited practice aimed at changing their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Conversion therapy is a dangerous and discredited practice based on the false claim that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) is a mental illness that needs to be cured—a view with no scientific basis.
  • Virginia law now protects young people from state-licensed therapists who falsely claim that being LGBTQ is a mental illness, no longer allowing them to take advantage of parents or harm vulnerable youth. 
  • The law recognizes that these practices are harmful because they use rejection, shame, and psychological abuse to force young people to try and change who they are.
  • Conversion therapy is known to be extremely dangerous and can lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, and even suicide attempts.
  • No young person should ever be shamed by a mental health professional into thinking that who they are is wrong. Mental health professionals should provide care that is ethical and affirming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people.
  • In accordance with VA law, young people can no longer be targeted and hurt by state-licensed providers practicing conversion therapy.


Equality Virginia is so grateful for the hard work that you put into protecting LGBTQ youth from this harmful practice. We could not do this crucial work without you.
E-mail Andaiye at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Amy Adams

Amy Adams

Mother, Organizer

There are different ways of opposing discrimination and bringing about social change. One is advocating for new or strengthened legal protections; another is speaking to the hearts of people so they will put aside the fears that underlie unjust practices. The two approaches are by no means mutually exclusive, but Amy

Adams chose to focus on the second when she mobilized her Stafford County neighbors to oppose hurtful school policies.

Amy’s journey into activism started with her daughter Morgan. At 9, Morgan, raised as a boy, said she was gay, and at 10 told her parents that she was transgender. “We knew she was serious,” says Amy, “so we followed her lead.”

After consulting with medical professionals and people at Morgan’s elementary school, the family decided Morgan would socially transition over the summer before fourth grade, to give everyone time to adjust. All went very well, says Amy. Morgan flourished. As a person, she came fully into her own. “I can’t imagine her as anyone other than exactly who she is now,” says Amy.

Socially and academically, Morgan was thriving. The bullying she had endured in second and third grade ended, and the girls supported and encouraged her. The school administration accepted everything Morgan and her family asked for. “They had never had an openly transgender child before,” says Amy, “and they really wanted the best for her.”

All the daily details were working out smoothly. At first, the school offered Morgan use of the nurse’s office or staff bathroom, but the kids wouldn’t have any of it. The girls said Morgan should use theirs, and inquiries to the main office and the school board indicated no concerns.

The tranquility Morgan and her family experienced at the start of the year was, however, deceptive. Hearing about Morgan’s routine, a group of parents started organizing opposition in secret. They courted politicians and the press and circulated a petition called Save Our Schools, with a plan to come out publicly all at once at an upcoming county School Board meeting, where they would push a resolution to ban Morgan from using the girls’ bathroom.

The family knew nothing about these plans until two days before the meeting when a friend told Amy. Shocked, Amy contacted a trusted advisor, civil rights lawyer Asaf Orr, as well as leaders from Equality Virginia. They arranged to come and observe, and EV sent out an alert to Stafford County area members.

At the standing-room-only meeting, 26 speakers came forward to voice their outrage, portraying 11-year-old Morgan as a would-be predator and spinning scenarios of rape in the girls’ room. Only Morgan’s father Jonathan spoke up for Morgan, but he did so eloquently. He told the crowd how his views of masculinity had changed because of Morgan and how since her transition she had changed from withdrawn, bullied, and depressed to happy and popular. He urged people to reframe the dialogue as about a child’s well-being and not about clothing or bathrooms. “He was amazing and the epitome of what a father should be,” says Amy.

No decisions were made, and the spectators went home. However, at one o’clock that morning in a closed-door session the Board reversed their earlier position. They passed the resolution after checking that no nondiscrimination laws were being violated. (They weren’t: gender orientation is not a protected class.) The principal called Amy before school the next morning to break the news. “From that point on, Morgan was banned,” says Amy.

Over the rest of the year and in fifth grade, Morgan made the best of the situation and tried not to care. Amy, however, had a choice to make. Middle school was ahead and with it the same battles for Morgan’s rights. How would she fight this time? First, Amy researched the legal and political landscape nationwide. “I needed to learn all I could about how influence works,” she says. Amy secured help from the ACLU and closely watched the suit of Gavin Grimm (a 2017 OUTstanding Virginian) against the Gloucester County school system over the right to use the boys’ room, which had much in common with Morgan’s situation.

In the end, Amy decided not to take the “legal path” and instead work to change people’s minds through education. She reasoned that for decision makers to change their minds, it was necessary for them to understand Morgan “as a human being with feelings and not as a chess piece.” Amy cultivated good relationships with school board representatives and the superintendent. She connected with advocacy groups at area colleges. She read the comments sections of articles and followed Facebook posts, personally thanking the people who voiced support for Morgan. In the process, she also connected with families of transgender schoolchildren.

Amy’s efforts to change attitudes in her community are bearing fruit. Although Morgan, now in middle school, is still barred from the girls’ room, and locker rooms as well, public opinion is shifting towards her side. A nationally televised rally was held for Morgan, and many people from the community showed up holding heart-shaped signs in solidarity with her. The expected opposition did not materialize in force: Save Our Schools had effectively disappeared.

Amy is now more active on the political front. During the 2016 General Assembly, she spoke out against her delegate Mark Cole’s highly invasive bathroom bill, which, had it passed, would have allowed anyone’s gender to be questioned. She is working with the Human Rights Campaign to lobby the US Congress for transgender-friendly policies in schools. But still, she prefers local action, including connecting with other parents of transgender kids. Inspired by the work of Richmond mom Shannon McKay (a 2016 OUTstanding Virginian), Amy started a He, She, Ze, and We group in Fredericksburg. Her Facebook group, Virginia Parents of Transgender Youth, has 160 members. Recently she hosted a social event with 50 families. “The teens immediately bonded,” she observes. “It’s so important not to feel like you’re the only kid.”

In 2017, Amy founded Equality Stafford, a group of teachers, community leaders, parents, and students. The young organization successfully advocated for the school board to form an Equality, Diversity, and Opportunity Committee and is helping the county update its nondiscrimination policies. Amy is currently leading a campaign to make sure all Stafford County schools have GSAs. This is a huge priority, she says, because “for some children, schools are the only place to be themselves.”

Morgan is in seventh grade now. She inspires her peers to speak out against prejudice and discriminatory policies. Amy reports that her daughter has absorbed a key lesson from the four-year struggle for her rights. “She knows her parents and allies will always have her back,” says Amy, “but she also knows you have to be there advocating for yourself.”

Rev. Emma Chattin

Rev. Emma Chattin

Educator, Pastor, Traveler

Reverend Emma Chattin travels a lot. Her busy schedule includes speaking at conferences, meeting with staff and patients at psychiatric hospitals, and visiting churches and seminaries as liturgist and lecturer. One constant of travel for her and other gender-nonconforming people is the dread of potentially humiliating treatment by TSA personnel. She tells of people who present differently from what their documents say being pulled aside for pat-downs on suspicion of a “groin anomaly” (an actual TSA term). “For some people, such encounters are so upsetting that they can precipitate an emotional breakdown,” Emma says.

Emma is on a lifelong mission to counter the attitudes that give rise to such callous treatment. To achieve this mission, she has positioned herself, in her words, “at the intersection of the trans communities and religion,” two spheres of action that she describes as “very important in this day and age.”

On the trans side of this intersection, Emma is Executive Director of the TransGender Education Association of Greater Washington DC (TGEA), whose mission is “to support individuals in transition (anyplace along the broad spectrum of gender identity, whether static or dynamic), and the communities into which they are transitioning.” She is also an ordained minister, serving as pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) of Northern Virginia, a GLBTIQQ-affirming community for all people: “No exceptions, No kidding.” She is a member of the MCC Eastern Network Leadership Team and a regular guest preacher at the Harrisonburg Unitarian Universalist Church. Emma also serves the spiritual life-cycle needs of those who do not have a minister, performing weddings, funerals, baptisms, christenings, and re-naming ceremonies.

Emma’s appreciation for religion comes by way of her family. Her father and uncle were both Methodist ministers, and she grew up in a church environment. Along with her mother and her sister, Dawn, a nurse, they stood by her on her “long, complicated, and occasionally difficult gender journey,” which led her to transition as an adult. Their support included participating in her ordination at the MCC Church of Richmond, a ritual which included her father and uncle laying on hands as she stood beside an altar decorated with items of significance from her life. One of these items was a whimsical Betty Boop doll, which Emma explains was “symbolic of the fact that we bring all of ourselves to the altar of service.” Looking around the congregation that day, her niece, Gwendolyn, about 12 years old at the time, commented, pleasantly surprised, “There’s so many gay people here!”

Once, Emma’s father told her that part of the reason his view of gender was eventually so accepting is because when he was a student, “a transsexual woman like you” came to speak at his seminary and transformed his thinking. Emma realized then how much power her own experience and voice could have on the development of clergy, whose voices would touch thousands of lives. That realization impelled her to devote time to religious education and outreach. Every year, she goes to seminaries to speak with the young pastors in training. She always thinks about that woman who taught her father. “It’s my way of paying her back,” Emma says.

Once, at a seminary, a student asked her, “I know God doesn’t make mistakes, so why do you think God made transgender people?” Emma responded “I think God made transgender people to provide a clearer image of Divinity. God is neither male nor female, but made both in the image of God. My God is gender queer, totally trans.” She cites examples from the Bible of gender-transgressing figures that are nonetheless heroes, such as Deborah, Prophet and the only female Judge mentioned in the Bible, or Jacob, who possessed many stereotypically feminine traits. “It’s culture that made God male, and culture that seems very determined to continue to do so,” says Emma.

Stripping away that patriarchal cultural layer to expose gender fluidity in the Biblical stories has proven valuable in Emma’s counseling work, especially when helping conservative parents learn to accept a transgender child. “You opened my eyes,” one parent told her. To Emma, this was an example of a principle she holds dear: “We have to touch people’s hearts through the stories we tell.”

Awareness of our stories also informs her work in the mental health field, where Emma has seen the damaging power of bad or thoughtless actions in the lives of transgender people. “I got into this area because of a patient who was suicidal and went into a psychiatric hospital only to come out more at risk than when they went in due to being repeatedly misgendered there,” says Emma. The patient committed suicide five weeks after being released. “And this was a hospital that said they could handle transgender patients,” she adds.

“Doctors and nurses, by and large, want to do the right thing,” says Emma, “but they often don’t know exactly what that is.” To guide them, she has devised a simple formula for delivering effective care: “Parts, paperwork, and presentation are no indication of a person’s pronoun preference. Ask, honor, respect, and use accordingly.”

Helping healing professionals know what to do is the purpose of many of Emma’s travels. Recently she was invited to address the California Hospital Association on the subject of Treating Transgender Patients. In such appearances, she reminds her hosts that their first responsibility is to “do no harm” and that misgendering patients, for instance, by using the wrong pronoun, is, in fact, doing harm. “It’s about being mindful, and being mindful of possibilities,” she says. “What you perceive about a person is not necessarily their truth or their authentic self.” Above all, she says, “Treat people as people before you treat them as patients.”

Much of Emma’s outreach work has grown out of work with TGEA, which she began leading in 2015 at a time when its future was in doubt. Now that the organization is stable, Emma has expanded its reach with gender awareness training and educational presentations at businesses, hospitals, schools, organizations, seminaries, and houses of worship of all denominations. A strong advocate of community building and creating connections among marginalized people, she is a founding co-facilitator of several support and community building groups for the trans community, including Parents of Trans-youth, Trans & Gender Non-Binary Tweens & Teens, and Spouses of Those Who Identify as Trans. During her time as Executive Director, TGEA has also formed two additional groups: Play Day for trans and gender-expansive children 5-11 years old, and a group for transmasculine and gender non-binary teens and adults. TGEA and MCC NoVA also supported Emma in leading the First Annual Northern Virginia Interfaith Service of Remembrance for the Victims of Suicide last September.  Emma gives great thanks to all the many volunteers that support her work “to help build community and make the world a better, safer place for people of all genders.”

Emma lives in Northern Virginia with Heather, her wife of 21 years, who is a true partner in the work that she does. “We really like each other’s company, and we travel together often,” says Emma. “We can ride together in the car for hours without touching the radio because we still have so much to talk about!”

Ultimately, Emma says her work in both religious and therapeutic communities is part of the same struggle, whose outcome is far from certain. “Many of the institutions that are supposed to be helping people live better lives are actually causing harm in many cases.” Emma cites potential legislation protecting GLBTIQQ discrimination in the name of religion, a toxic climate for human rights in Africa caused by too many American missionaries, and schisms in some Christian denominations as reasons why it is so important for people of faith to speak out for equality. “We want to make a good future for all people now,” she says, “and the way to do that is to educate people, touch their hearts, and let them hear each other’s stories.”

De Sube

De Sube


De Sube

De Sube is a steadfast advocate for transgender people in the Hampton Roads area, where she moved in 1973 after graduating from Randolph-Macon College where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Before her work in the transgender community, she worked in the retail industry for J. C. Penney and Proffitt-Parisian Department Stores for many years in various positions including store management; merchandise management; human resources; and marketing. She has gone on to become a conduit for change and the advancement of trans people.

Though she is now a vital part of Virginia Beach’s LGBT community, it has not always been easy for De. “My earliest memories are of feeling different,” she says of growing up in the late ’50s and ’60s when the term transgender was not widely used. She spent much of her early life suppressing and wrestling with her identity. The advent of the Internet helped change things and she was able to find resources to begin the process of transitioning. In 1996 she came out to her then wife and later to her employer.

From there, De’s life started over. Her marriage ended and she moved out. Being out as trans woman initially proved difficult, both personally and professionally. She was fired upon coming out to her employer who cited that they could not have a contract with a transgender person. With no job and no legal recourse for her termination, she used the resourceful skills her father taught her and began building houses. This sustained her until the economic decline of the Great Recession in 2007. With no clients, De lost her income and was left essentially homeless.

Fortunately, friends opened their doors to De giving her a place to stay while she got back on her feet following economic hardships. During that time, De sought ways to make life better for her fellow transgender neighbors and in May 2007, she followed her passions and created, as well as served as a facilitator for, the New Life Transgender Outreach, a peer-facilitated transgender support group that later evolved into The Gender Expression Movement of Hampton Roads. In 2011, she helped to found the LGBT Center of Hampton Roads and was its first employee. In 2015, she co-founded Transgender Assistance Program (TAP) a non-profit organization created to end homelessness within the local transgender community in Virginia. She also serves as TAP’s treasurer on the Board of Directors and is a member of the homeless emergency response team.

Today, a thriving member of the community, De also works as operations manager for a chain of hair salons, while also devoting a great deal of time toward helping other people in the transgender community.  A grassroots activist at heart, her support comes in various forms, whether it is devotedly serving the organizations she helped found, referring those in need to doctors and mental health professionals, or creating a safe space in which transgender people can connect with one another. In 2011, she was given the Old Dominion University Diversity Award and in 2014, she was given the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission’s community service award. Advocate magazine named De one their 2015 Trans100.

De is grateful to be recognized as an OUTstanding Virginian, but awards and honors, however, are not the reason De stays committed to the trans community. She is heartened by the strides made in our community in recent years and hopes that her work, along with the efforts of so many others will help bring about continued change.

Equality Virginia Works to Ban So-Called “Conversion Therapy” for Minors


Equality Virginia has been hard at work this spring, advocating for banning the practice of so-called “conversion therapy” or sexual orientation change efforts for minors. We’ve teamed up with local and national partners to encourage several boards licensed by the Virginia Department of Health Professions to issue guidances and regulations against the harmful and fraudulent practice. 

Although some people in our Commonwealth may think sexual orientation change efforts are a thing of the past, the fact is that minors in Virginia are still being subjected to this harmful and fraudulent practice. Unfortunately, parents and other family members of LGBTQ youth may believe “conversion therapy” is a helpful solution to the pain their children may be experiencing. However, we know the truth: that it is harmful, dangerous, and ineffective.

By working with the Boards that license health care providers – including psychologists, counselors, and social workers – we are working to ensure that no parent in our Commonwealth is ever again sold this junk science. Our strategy is twofold: work with each board 1.) to issue a guidance advising licensed professionals against the practice, and then 2.) to begin the regulatory process that will officially ban the practice.

Four guidances have already been approved by the Boards of Psychology, Counseling, Social Work, and Medicine. Here’s what the Board of Psychology had to say about the practice:

“Thus, under the Regulations governing applied, clinical, and school psychologists and others licensed or registered by the Board, practicing conversion therapy / sexual orientation change efforts with minors could result in a finding of misconduct and disciplinary action against the licensee or registrant.”

Anyone who experienced conversion therapy as a minor through a licensed professional should take advantage of the online complaint process available through the Department of Health Professions. Click here to find the online complaint form.

Now that’s what we call a victory! Thank you to Governor Northam and his administration for providing the proper language and support needed to push this incredible work through. E-mail [email protected] to learn more about how you can get involved in supporting this process today.

Equality Virginia Welcomes Amazon As A Partner in Ensuring LGBT Virginians Are Protected from Discrimination

Virginia is on the verge of getting a major new economic partner in the work of ensuring LGBT Virginians are protected from discrimination.

Amazon announced this week it would split its long-awaited second headquarters (or “HQ2”) between Long Island City, New York, and Crystal City, Virginia. That will net our commonwealth at least 25,000 new jobs—and potentially a major new business voice speaking out for enacting statewide LGBT nondiscrimination protections.  

During the year-long search to land a location for HQ2, Amazon’s search committee reportedly asked public officials about “compatible cultural and community environment”—something many observers saw as code for LGBT inclusion. Company officials also appeared to balk at North Carolina’s anti-transgender House Bill 2 and an anti-LGBT adoption bill in Georgia when they visited those states .

Amazon’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, was also a prominent voice in the movement for marriage equality. He and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, famously donated $2.5 million to support marriage equality at the ballot in 2012 in their home state of Washington.

State lawmakers are poised to pass bipartisan legislation that would protect gay and transgender Virginians from being fired from public employment or denied housing just because of who they are. Legislation passed the Senate this year with bipartisan support, but was defeated in the House because of political interference from Speaker Kirk Cox.

The Virginia legislature is poised to pass these protections again during the next legislative session, and codify our shared values of diversity and inclusion—values that Amazon has a long history of supporting.

“Virginia prides itself on being a welcoming and inclusive state to all people, and we are proud to welcome Amazon HQ2 to the commonwealth. All Virginians have the right to earn a living regardless of who they are and who they love. … We are eager to work alongside Amazon and the growing consensus of business leaders to ensure that all Virginians are treated with dignity and respect.” — James Parrish, Executive Director, Equality Virginia


And in 2017, Bezos received the Human Rights Campaign’s National Equality Award for his commitment to LGBT equality. The company itself scores a 100 on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, meaning it has a robust internal LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policy and provides equal benefits to LGBT workers, among other things.

Equality Virginia is excited to work alongside our partners to bring Amazon into programs supporting this critical legislation protecting LGBT Virginians in housing and employment.  These programs include Virginia Competes, a business coalition that advocates for the expansion of LGBT rights and protections in the commonwealth, and Virginia Beach for Fairness, which is working to build support among local lawmakers.

The Virginia Competes coalition includes businesses such as Capital One, Dominion Energy, and Carmax. It provides a unified voice for the business community and its support for LGBT protections in employment, housing and public accommodations. Businesses can join Virginia Competes by signing this statement of support.

When it comes to being able to earn a living, have a place to live, or be served by a business or government office, LGBT people should be treated like anyone else and not be discriminated against. Equality Virginia is excited to work with Amazon and other business and local partners to create a safer and more equal Virginia for all people to live, work, and play.

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2018

Each year, Equality Virginia and other LGBT organizations throughout the Commonwealth observe Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). This international event each November memorializes those lives lost due to violence against transgender people.  We honor and lift up those who we have lost, while striving to empower those who are still with us.

We hope you can make it to an event. If you know of a TDOR event that is not listed, please email the details to [email protected] and we will be sure to add it.

Gov. McAuliffe, AG Herring, LG Northam to attend Equality Virginia Legislative Reception

Media Alert

Equality Virginia will be joined be Governor McAuliffe, Attorney General Herring, Lieutenant Governor Northam, members of the General Assembly, and community advocates to recognize the 2016 legislative session and steps being taken to move equality forward in the commonwealth.

When: Tuesday, February 9, 2016 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Contact: If members of the press would like to attend this reception, please contact Brandon Day at [email protected]; 804-643-4816.


Equality Virginia is a statewide, non-partisan education, outreach, and advocacy organization seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Virginians. Since 1989, EV has worked to end discrimination, protect families and build safe communities. More information is online at EqualityVirginia.org. Connect on Facebook.com/EqualityVA or Twitter @EqualityVA.

Equality Virginia disappointed in House Subcommittee Vote


RICHMOND, Va. (February 4, 2016) – On Tuesday, February 9, Virginia House of Delegates Subcommittee #4 on General Laws voted to pass an unprecedented six anti-LGBT bills, while choosing to vote against bills that would grant protections to gay and transgender Virginians.
Equality Virginia, along with gay and transgender community advocates, attended the subcommittee meeting to testify against the harmful legislation and speak in support of the pro-equality bills. The following six bills are opposed by Equality Virginia, and are considered anti- LGBT bills by Virginia’s gay and transgender community:

HB 77 (Marshall): Allows for discrimination in violation with federal policy
HB 385 (Marshall): Removes discrimination protections covering more than 1/4 of gay and transgender public school employees
HB 397 (LaRock): Contradicts federal policy, narrowly defines sex and gender to exclude transgender people from any protections against discrimination
HB 663, HB 781 (Cole): Stigmatize transgender youth and force them to use incorrect public accommodations
HB 773 (Gilbert): Provides a license to discriminate against gay and lesbian families

The six anti-LGBT bills passed by House Subcommittee #4 seek to harm gay and transgender Virginians in a number of ways, from discriminating against LGBT families to prohibiting transgender people and youth from using the appropriate restrooms in schools and government buildings.

“Today Delegates X, X, X, X, and X stood in the path to progress and equality by passing bills that would harm gay and transgender Virginians and killing bills that would provide them much needed protections. These delegates refuse to acknowledge what the majority of Virginia has long believed: protecting LGBT Virginians is not only the right thing to do, but it’s what is best for the overall success of the commonwealth,” said Executive Director James Parrish. “Our hope now is the broad Republican support in the Senate will provide the bipartisan support needed to properly and accurately represent Virginia’s people.”

While Equality Virginia expresses disappointment at the subcommittee’s votes on the legislation heard, EV also thanks the seven patrons of pro-equality bills that would protect LGBT people across the commonwealth. These legislators are helping to pave the way for full, lived and legal equality in Virginia.
Equality Virginia will continue to monitor any bills affecting Virginia’s LGBT community as they move out of committee and to the floor.


Equality Virginia is a statewide, non-partisan education, outreach, and advocacy organization seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Virginians. Since 1989, EV has worked to end discrimination, protect families and build safe communities. More information is online at EqualityVirginia.org. Connect on Facebook.com/EqualityVA or Twitter @EqualityVA.

LGBT-supportive bills killed in House Subcommittee #4 on General Laws are as follows: HB 179 (Kory), HB 300 (Simon), HB 427 (Hope), HB 429 (Villanueva), HB 913 (Toscano), and HB 1005 (Levine).

2 Anti-LGBT Bills Pass Out of House Committee


RICHMOND, Va. (February 8, 2016) – On Monday, Virginia House of Delegates Committee on General Laws voted to pass HB 781 (Cole) and HB 385 (Marshall), two anti-LGBT bills that would force transgender youth and people to use the incorrect restroom or locker room in any public school or government-owned building, as well as remove already-existing discrimination protections for over 25 percent of gay and transgender public school employees, respectively.

Despite opposition in committee hearings and from numerous constituents across Virginia, the bills passed #-# and will now go before the House floor.

“In today’s committee hearing, Delegates Gilbert, Albo, Wright, Peace, Anderson, Greason, Knight, LeMunyon, Helsel, Robinson, Yost, Hudges, Bell, Minchew, and Leftwich showed blatant disregard for gay and transgender Virginians by vote to pass these two harmful and discriminatory bills,” said Executive Director James Parrish. “These bills represent a serious setback for Virginia. Our hope now is that the rest of the House will represent the majority of Virginians by opposing this legislation that would weaken the inclusivity and diversity our commonwealth has worked so hard to move towards.”


Equality Virginia is a statewide, non-partisan education, outreach, and advocacy organization seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Virginians. Since 1989, EV has worked to end discrimination, protect families and build safe communities. More information is online at EqualityVirginia.org. Connect on Facebook.com/EqualityVA or Twitter @EqualityVA.