Tuesday night, the Republican-led House subcommittee killed SB747 that would have added sexual orientation as a protected class into the state’s hiring policies.
Senator Donald McEachin, the bill’s sponsor, expressed his disappointment on the defeat of his legislation today via press release.
“As witnesses were lined up out the door prepared to testify, as individuals stood in support of the bill, with little discussion, the legislation was defeated on a Party line vote.
“This legislation is very simple. It simply says that state workers will be judged on merit and on job performance, not on other irrelevant characteristics. For Virginia to be competitive, for the Commonwealth to attract and keep the best employees, we owe our workers basic protections and grievance procedures.
“Not that many years ago, in this very Commonwealth, African-Americans were subject to these same prejudices, same insecurities about heir jobs, same subtle and insidious harassment. We codified those protections and that has made a significant difference. If a state employee feels he or she is being judged because of his or her skin color they have avenues to take, procedures to follow and the Commonwealth will respond. Now, is the time to offer these same basic civil rights to other who have been judged not on merit but on characteristics that have absolutely nothing to do with their work performance.
“I commit that I will continue this fight until ALL Virginians have equal justice, opportunity and fairness. Let me also thank all of those who have aided me in this fight. Together, will make the difference,” the Senator concluded.
This is the second year in a row a similar bill has passed in the Senate, but not in the House.