Virginia Senate Panel Kills Anti-Discrimination Bill


Virginia’s Senate General Laws and Technology Committee on Monday rejected a bill aimed at banning sexual orientation discrimination in state hiring.

The legislation, known as SB 263 and introduced by state Democratic Senator Adam Ebbin, was defeated in an 8-7 party-line vote. The legislation would also have prohibited discrimination based based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran.

Via PilotOnline:

A similar measure was passed by the Senate last year when it had a Democratic majority, only to be defeated in the Republican-led House of Delegates. Republicans won effective control of the Senate in the November election.

Ebbin, D-Alexandria, had the support of labor unions, teacher and public-employee associations, and AARP, the over-50 lobby group. The socially conservative Family Foundation and the Virginia Association of Independent Baptists opposed the measure.

Opponents had suggested that the bill was unneeded because, they said, there was no evidence that anti-gay discrimination actually occurs.

This opinion appears to contradict several recorded incidents of discrimination, including the following from the Human Rights Campaign:

Linda, an attorney, relocated to Virginia when her partner accepted a faculty position at a university there. In August 2000, Linda was invited for a second interview at a Virginia law firm. During the interview, Linda was asked why she was moving to Virginia, and she replied that her spouse had taken a position at a local university. The law firm asked Linda to come back for a final interview, which would include a dinner with all the partners and their spouses “to make sure we all got along.” At that point, Linda told one of the partners at the law firm that her spouse was a woman. Soon after, Linda was told that the firm would not hire a lesbian and she should not bother coming to the third interview.

LGBT rights group Equality Virginia, who had strongly advocated for the bill, points out on its campaign page that two separate polls show that Virginians overwhelmingly support LGBT workplace rights, with 87% of Virginians saying that gay and lesbian employees have a right to be protected from workplace discrimination.

In 29 states including Virginia, it is still legal to fire someone for being gay, and in 34 states it is legal to fire someone solely for being transgender.

Former Virginia Governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine issued executive orders barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, however presiding Governor Bob McDonnell refused to do so when he took up the position.

Related Reading:
VA Lawmakers Consider Gay Adoption Issue
V.A. Board Defies Cuccinelli, Votes for Nondiscrimination
Virginia Board of Social Services Rejects Gay-Inclusive Adoption Rules

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to brainchildvn.

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David Handy
David Handy3 years ago

First of all, not all Southern people are bigots !!! On the flip side, I am ashamed the lawmakers from my home state considers discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation acceptable. It scares me that bible beaters want to conquer the United States and turn it into a fundamentalist Christian version of Iran. If we don't get these people out of the federal and state governments, we will all be forced by the military to comply to their will, go underground, or move to another country. My ancestors came to this country 200 to 400 years ago for freedom. The USA IS MY HOME AND I AM NOT GOING TO LET THE BIGOTS WIN !!!

Louise D.
Louise D.3 years ago

Yet again logic appears to be taking time out yet again is it okay to discriminate against gay people because they can't prove that discrimination is bad for them. This is a bit like the logic of Witch hunting which goes if they drown they're not a witch but if they survive they are and they have to be burned as a witch. Looks like it is just a bigots loop hole.

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley3 years ago

Bigotry continues to thrive in Virginia. Very sad.

Judith g.
Judith g.3 years ago

It is Virginia. Deep south mentality; religious homophobes and neanderthals. Pretty state but not interested in going there. Definitely NOT for lovers!

New G.
New G.3 years ago

Thank you.

Andrew Carvin
Andrew Carvin3 years ago

In order to be a homophobe it has to occupy a significant part of your brain, and this means that homophobes are thinking about men/women rubbing penises/vaginas together in a 24/7 gay porno. That’s an awful lot of gay thoughts for supposedly straight people who hate gays. I bet even gay people don’t think about gay stuff as much as homophobes do.

Homophobes (aka Anti-Gay Movement) are not protesting against bestiality, pedophilia (with/without a priest involved), rape, sexual exploitation, or any other form of non-consensual sexual act in which a victim is forced against their will to participate

The Homophobes are protesting a private sexual act being performed by two consenting adults.


Homosexuals = fighting for the right to control their own behavior.

Homophobes = fighting for the right to control other peoples behavior.

Lilithe Magdalene

Ugh. A step back - for everybody.

Charles P.
Charles P.3 years ago

I guess we'll just have to wait intil someone discriminates against a gay. Oh, wait. It's not illegal to discriminiate now is it? So, discrimination is thereby legal.

Avril Lomas
Avril Lomas3 years ago

Well Dammit, It IS the South,They deny slavery ever existed,so why is anyone suprised that they approve discrimination??

Linda T.
Linda T.3 years ago

Lets hope that the 2012 elections brings our country back into reality.