Equality Virginia is gratified that the Governor has responded positively to our call for action. The Governor took a major positive step forward today toward assuring that gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender workers will not be subject to discrimination in state employment. Equality Virginia applauds his implementation of a “standard of conduct” that recognizes that discrimination based on sexual orientation is unconstitutional and establishes a strict prohibition against such discrimination in the state workforce. At the same time, however, the directive is silent regarding discrimination based on gender identity, and does not afford any protection to students at our state colleges and universities, so it is clear that there is much work still to be done.
Accordingly, Equality Virginia will continue to urge the Governor and the legislature to work together with us to codify workplace protections for all gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender state employees and to support future legislation that protects Virginians from all discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.
Equality Virginia sincerely hopes that the Attorney General agrees that the Governor’s action today is within his authority and that he will defend the Governor’s enforcement of Executive Directive #1.