Two bills important to the LGBT community pass the Virginia Senate

Bi-partisan support in the Senate signals progress for Virginia’s LGBT community For immediate release – Feb. 3, 2015 In response to SB 785 (McEachin) and SB 1211 (Ebbin) passing out of the Senate on Tuesday, Feb. 3., the following statement can be attributed to James Parrish, executive director, Equality Virginia.  “Workplace non-discrimination is a priority issue for Equality Virginia, and we are pleased to see SB 785 pass the Senate with bi-partisan support.  Fairness and inclusion are mainstream values shared by the majority of Virginians and the Commonwealth’s top employers. It is time for the Commonwealth of Virginia to follow the lead of the business community by passing a law to protect LGBT public employees. SB 1211 is a commonsense bill that ensures the rights and responsibilities of married couples are clear under the law.  Updating the Code of Virginia to reflect marriage equality is the right thing to do, and it clarifies that all legally married spouses are included under Virginia law. To see these two bills pass out of the Senate with bi-partisan support gives us momentum as we turn to the House of Delegates.  If history tells us anything, the anti-LGBT majority in the House of Delegates will stall any progress we have made when it comes to workplace non-discrimination and relationship recognition, but we cannot – and will not -  give up this important fight. The majority of Virginians want to see LGBT families and individuals welcomed in Virginia and treated equally under the law.  These bills are about ensuring that Virginia is welcoming to all families and businesses, and if passed will ultimately make the Commonwealth a better place for all of us to live, work, and play.”