Push in VA to Ban Workplace Sexual Orientation Discrimination - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Push in VA to Ban Workplace Sexual Orientation Discrimination

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Legislation to protect state employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation is coming back to the General Assembly.

Eleven different organizations, including Equality Virginia and Charlottesville-based Virginia Organizing, assembled in Richmond Thursday in support of this legislation.

Senator Adam Ebbin, the state's first openly gay legislator, and Senator Donald McEachin want Virginia to join 16 states and the District of Columbia in banning workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Similar bills have passed the Senate before, but later failed in the House. Advocates hope public interest will move the discussion forward this year.

"This General Assembly has received more than 11,000 constituent messages in support of passing SB 701 because protecting LGBT employees, and especially job security, is a timely and important issue to all Virginians," said James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia.

The proposed bill covers only employment at state agencies.

Since the general makeup of the House and Senate hasn't shifted, it is doubtful the mostly republican-controlled body will pass this bill.

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