Non-Discrimination Bills To Be Heard Today
From Equality Virginia:
*Senate Bill 747 (McEachin) and SB 797 (Locke) will be heard in the Senate General Laws Committee on Wednesday, January 26th at 2pm. *
SB 747 would codify protections against discrimination for all state employees, including protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
* Governors since Linwood Holton have signed executive orders protecting state employees from discrimination in employment. Warner and Kaine extended this protection to GLBT employees; Governor McDonnell did not include this protection in his equal opportunity executive order substituting an executive directive without the force of law. It is now time to make nondiscrimination against GLBT employees a codified state policy and extend the protection to all state employees.
* It is a fundamental American and Virginian value that people who do their jobs, pay their taxes and contribute to their communities should not be singled out for unfair workplace discrimination.
* 90% of Virginia voters support ending discrimination against GLBT people in government employment.
* Of Virginia’s 50 largest employers, 24 of the 27 private employers on the list (88%) have nondiscrimination policies.
SB 797 would simply and clearly state that *discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is against the public policy* of the Commonwealth.
* The Virginia Human Rights Act states that it is the “policy of the Commonwealth” to “safeguard” all individuals in certain enumerated classes from discrimination. Adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes in the Virginia Human Rights Act will make clear that it is against Virginia’s public policy for its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) residents to be subjected to discrimination just because of who they are.
*What You Can Do*
*Call or send an email* to the offices of the Senators on the General Laws Committee *today* telling them that you support SB 747 and SB 797!
The names and contact information for the Senators on the Committee are available on live links here [ http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?111+com+S12 ].
If you are available and want to* testify before the committee* on Wednesday, please let our lobbyist, Claire Gastañaga, know by calling her office at 804-521-4067. That will help us organize our presentations, since we will only have a limited time for our side to present our case. Keep in mind that you will want to prepare your testimony in advance and limit it to no more than 250 words.
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