Friday, January 25, 2013

Around The Nation

Workplace Protections For State LGBT Employees Passes Virginia Senate
RICHMOND, VA -- Virginia bill SB701 to protect state LGBT employees from workplace discrimination has passed in the Senate by a 24-16 vote. The bill introduced by Senators Donald McEachin and co-sponsored by Senator Adam Ebbin extends protections for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. The bill has also received support from 46 co-patrons in both in the House and Senate.
"We're going to press forward with this momentum," said Senator Ebbin. "No state employee should ever doubt Virginia's commitment to equal opportunity employment for all. This assures state employees that they will be judged solely on their merits and that discrimination has no place in Virginia." 
Senator McEachin told LGBT advocacy group Equality Virginia after the vote:
“SB701 is about fairness and all Virginians deserve equal opportunity, justice and fairness,” McEachin said. “The people must continue to lead the legislature and remind the House that Virginia is an open state and welcoming to all folks as we move this bill ahead.”
Equality Virginia notes that a majority of the state's top 25 private employers already provide similar protections. Only 21 states provide broad employment protections to public and private gay and lesbian workers. Five fewer states grant such protections to transgender employees.