Sen. Adam Ebbin’s bill SB263, which would have prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in state hiring,was voted down 8-7 in the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee Monday.
The Virginia Senate passed a similar bill last session, but it was voted down by the Republican-led House of Delegates. Monday’s largely-party line vote was reflective of the effective majority the Republican Party gained in the November 2011 elections. Socially conservative advocacy groups such as the Family Foundation and the Virginia Association of Independent Baptists lobbied extensively against the SB263′s passage.
“Passage of SB 263 would have been a small step forward in ensuring that Virginia is truly an inclusive Commonwealth of opportunity,” said James Parrish, Executive Director of Equality Virginia, in a statement yesterday. “The failure of the Senate to endorse this concept, as it has the past two years, is a major step backward.”