Virginia Democrats have long pushed to expand the state’s nondiscrimination laws to include protections for gay and transgender people. They think this is the year it will happen.
Say someone is transgender and their boss finds out, then they get fired. Or their landlord finds out, and they’re evicted. As it is in Virginia, they’d have no standing to sue.
Senator Adam Ebbin, a Democrat from Alexandria, has introduced a comprehensive bill that would change that. It would create new protections not just on the basis of sexual orientation, or gender identity, but also on race, religion, and veteran status.
James Parrish is Director of the Virginia Values Coalition.
“It’s important for our LGBTQ citizens to be able to retain a job, hold a job, support themselves, support their family,” says Parrish. “But then also to be able to buy or rent housing so they have a place for their family and themselves to live.”
Democratic leadership has voiced support for similar measures over the years. Now with majorities in both chambers some form of the legislation is likely to pass.