A Message From Our Executive Director
We are honored to present you with our 2020 Legislative Scorecard, compiled meticulously by our Equality Virginia staff. EV believes in a truly inclusive Commonwealth where all are equally valued, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We are building a fully inclusive Commonwealth by educating, empowering, and mobilizing Virginians to ensure all LGBTQ people are free to live, love, learn, and work. Part of our commitment to this vision of an equitable Virginia involves striving to achieve policy victories at the Virginia General Assembly that result in lived equality for LGBTQ people throughout the Commonwealth. We hope that in reading this scorecard, you will be able to reflect on the history of LGBTQ advocacy in Virginia, celebrate our victories, and envision a continued path to progress in the years to come.
The 2020 General Assembly session was monumental for the advancement of LGBTQ rights in our state. We achieved historic and unprecedented victories, including the passage of the Virginia Values Act, which established nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in housing, employment, credit, and public accommodations. Virginia is the first state in the South and the 21st state in the country to pass such protections. Now all Virginians, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are able to feel more safe going about their daily lives. On top of this historic win, we also: protected youth from conversion therapy, modernized the birth certificate update process, included a non-binary gender marker option for state IDs, made schools safer for trans and non-binary youth, added sexual orientation and gender identity to hate crimes protections, and repealed the ban on same-sex marriages and unions from the Virginia Code.
None of this progress would have been possible without our robust network of community members and allies, faith and business leaders, and local and national partner organizations who consistently invested in this work. We are grateful to everyone who organized their neighbors, volunteered their time, and shared their stories. The countless phone calls, meetings, door knocks, and emails were vital components to our legislative success, and cannot be taken for granted.
In addition, we would like to express our gratitude to all of the pro-equality lawmakers, and Governor Northam, for the work they have done and will continue to do to ensure that LGBTQ people throughout our Commonwealth have access to full legal equality. Even with major policy advancements in 2020, the LGBTQ community and its allies must continue to stand united to guard these hard fought victories as well as secure further protections, especially for those with multiple marginalized identities who still experience disparities, discrimination, and violence. We invite everyone to join us in the work ahead to ensure that all LGBTQ Virginians are able to thrive in the state they call home.
2020 Equality Virginia Legislative Score Card