The Virginia Pilot Newspaper Editorial Board, based east of here across the 7 Cities, has come out in favor of providing workplace protections and benefits for LGBTQ Virginians in an oped published yesterday.
Citing the 2/3′s of fortune 500 companies who offer these protections and benefits, and saying the current lack of protections runs in the face of “Virginia is open for business,” the newspaper didn’t hold back in their support for equal rights:
Virginia law has left its public agencies at a clear competitive disadvantage when it comes to hiring the best employees.
Efforts to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace have been repeatedly scuttled by Republicans in the House of Delegates. An amendment to the state constitution that restricts marriage – unconstitutionally – to a man and a woman has prevented public employers from offering benefits to same-sex and domestic partners.
Such policies would be uniformly bad for businesses, which is why so many private enterprises have ignored the 2006 vote and extended benefits to employees in same-sex couples. That amendment to Virginia’s constitution was ruled unconstitutional this year by a federal judge.
It remains inexplicable that members of the GOP – which fancies itself as pro-business and insists government should operate more like a business – would protect practices that few good businesses follow.
About two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies provide health benefits to same-sex and domestic partners of their employees, including the nation’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, and Virginia’s biggest electric utility, Dominion Resources. They also prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
It’s a reflection of how the nation’s most successful businesses adapt to a marketplace where more and more people recognize that discriminating based on sexual orientation is wrong both as a policy and for the bottom line.