LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Virginia has issued a statement commending the Board of Juvenile Justice’s decision to add protections against sexual-orientation based discrimination in residential facilities overseen by the Department of Juvenile Justice Services. The Board voted 5-1 earlier this month to add the specific language to their rules for residential programs. Similar prohibitions have been in place for non-residential facilities since July 2011.
“Equality Virginia continues to be grateful that the Board and the professional staff of the Department of Juvenile Justice recognize the vulnerable position of the youth in their care who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) and their ongoing need for protection from discrimination in non-residential and residential programs operated unfer the Department’s auspices,” said James Parrish, Executive Director of Equality Virginia.
Equality Virginia also condemned Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for advising the Board not to implement the change of language. Similar protections already exist based on race, religion, national origin, sex and disability.
“The majority of Virginians believe in fairness and equality, and it is discouraging to see so many of our legislators unwilling to stand with them for what is right by passing discriminatory legislation.”