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WASHINGTON — The Virginia General Assembly is considering legislation that would loosen penalties for possessing marijuana, scrapping a policy that leads to offenders automatically losing their driver’s licenses.

RICHMOND – Legislation to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in public employment and housing cleared a Senate committee on Monday and now will go to the full Senate for consideration.

SB 783, sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, would prohibit public employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identification. The Senate General Laws and Technology Committee voted 12-3 in favor of the bill.

In a 13-3 vote, the measure passed with Republicans breaking tradition in supporting it.

A long time advocate for LGBTQ rights in both the House and Senate, Ebbin’s new bill, SB 783, hopes to prohibit discrimination  on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity against state and municipal employees.

This afternoon, the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee advanced Senator Adam P. Ebbin‘s SB783, addressing nondiscrimination in public employment, and Senator Jennifer Wexton‘s SB822, targeting discriminatory, anti-LGBT practices in public housing.

Both bills passed with strong, bipartisan support and now make their way to the Senate Floor.
SB 783 prohibits discrimination in public employment on basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
SB 822 prohibits discriminatory housing practices on basis of sexual orientation and gender.

A bill which would allow all persons authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in Virginia, including judges and public officiants, to refuse to conduct marriages that violate a “sincerely held religious belief” passed a full Senate vote today and is now headed to the House. Senator Ebbin spoke against the bill on the floor saying "it's a solution in search of a problem" and added that "proposals like these, licenses like these, desecrate the very thing they claim to protect."

Arlington’s seven-member legislative delegation voted against Gov. McAuliffe's compromise on recognition of out-of-state concealed-weapons permits.

Richmond, Va. – This morning, two nondiscrimination bills made it through the Virginia Senate. Senator Adam Ebbin’s (D-Alexandria) and Senator Donald McEachin's (D-Henrico) bill, SB12, regarding nondiscrimination in public employment and Senator Jennifer Wexton’s (D-Loudoun) bill, SB67, regarding discriminatory housing practices both passed 25-15 with all Democrats in favor. The bills now make their way to the Senate floor.

Addressing the Senate floor, Senator Ebbin said, “We want talented workers to go to work rather than worry about how they’ll be treated and an assurance that when we attract people to Virginia they can permanently work here in a discrimination free workplace.”

Members of a Virginia Senate committee on Monday approved two anti-discrimination bills.

Senate Bill 12, which would ban anti-LGBT discrimination against state employees, passed in the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee by a 9-4 vote margin.

The committee on Monday also approved Senate Bill 67, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Virginia Fair Housing Act.

Virginia continues to lag behind when it comes to protections for LGBTQ citizens meaning you can still be not hired, fired, kicked out of your home or denied service because of who you love. And while there’s plenty of work being done to make it harder to be gay in the commonwealth, some legislators are doing what they can to help out.  The most common issue that has been going on is providing protections in public employment. Bills SB12, sponsored by Virginia’s only openly gay Senator Adam Ebbin (D-30), aims to put those protections in place.