Three bills related to LGBT-equality passed last week in the Senate. They will move over to the House for another vote.
According to Equality Virginia, SB 1121 will allow local governments to set their own personnel and benefits policy, SB 1122 authorizes the state to offer benefit plans to employees and otherwise qualified adults, and SB 747 will protect state workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
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In the House of Delegates, a subcommittee bundled all pending non-discrimination bills into one and then killed it. The three bills differed somewhat in their scope. The Ebbin and Scott bills, which Equality Virginia supported, would have barred discrimination against state and local employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity as well as the existing protected classes of race, color, etc.
Sen. McEachin’s bill (SB 747) now faces a vote by the same delegates that killed the House non-discrimination bills. Speaking against the House bills Del. Todd Gilbert (R-15th District) denied that discrimination in public employment was a “real problem.” If it was, he said, there would be “a line out the door” of people bearing witness to discrimination.
“Let’s answer Del. Gilbert’s challenge and form that “line out the door” when the House subcommittee hears Sen. McEachin’s bill.” Contact EV at email@example.com if you want to share your story of workplace discrimination.