Open Letter from Mary Margaret Whipple
GayRVA just received this letter via e-mail from one of our contacts at a state advocacy organization. The letter regarding the Governor’s Executive Directive and the killing of SB66.
I wanted to update you on a critical issue currently before the General Assembly. But before I begin, I want to assure you that the Senate Democrats are fully engaged in resolving the budget negotiation with the House of Delegates in a way that protects jobs, K-12 education, public safety and our most vulnerable citizens. More on this later, but now…
…If you’ve seen any news out of Richmond lately you’ve probably read about Virginia’s non-discrimination policy towards gay state workers and college students. Eight weeks ago I never would have expected this topic to garner so much publicity so I want to take just a minute to discuss what has happened.
The Democratic-led Senate is the only body in Richmond to have passed legal protections for Virginia’s gay state workers. Senate Democrats voted unanimously to pass SB66 which would have given gay Virginians the same legal protections from workplace discrimination that every other state worker receives.
The Republican-led House of Delegates killed our bill while Governor Bob McDonnell sat silently and Attorney General Cuccinelli urged colleges to weaken their anti-discrimination policies. After these actions received national attention Governor McDonald signed a symbolic “Executive Directive” outlining his position against discrimination.
What you should take away from all these reports is this: Nothing has changed. Gay state workers and students still do not have the same rights as everyone else under the law and the Senate Democrats are the only entity in Richmond to have done something about it.
To see floor debates on this issue and keep up with our efforts to promote equality for all Virginians, please sign up at our website www.vasenatedems.com. Thank you.
Senator Mary Margaret Whipple
Chair of the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus
In the state of Virginia, it is currently legal to deny housing to individuals or couples because they are LGBTQ. Del. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church) hopes to change that with House Bill 1454, which would make discrimination in housing based on sexual orientation and gender identity illegal. As it stands, neither federal nor state housing laws [...]January 8, 2015
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