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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. 

State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D) is trying again to codify some basic LGBTQ rights in Virginia.  Ebbin has proposed three bills to the General Assembly regarding same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights — bills very similar to the three that were rejected during last year’s legislative session. They were all defeated in their respective committees.  Tne bill would repeal the amendment to the Constitution of Virginia that defines valid or recognized marriages as “only a union between a man and a woman.” It also prohibits the creation or recognition of other legal relationship statuses — including partnerships and unions — that are assigned the same rights and benefits as marriages. This amendment was approved by voters during the November 2006 election, but declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2014.

 

Hume Avenue sits just off Alexandria’s Jefferson Davis Highway, behind the National Tire and Battery store. Like the highway, the three-block stretch of modest homes was named for a Confederate leader, although one not as well-known as the president of the Rebel states.

Now both streets could get new names, along with at least 31 others in Alexandria, the latest ripple in a national debate over the Confederacy that erupted after the shooting rampage at a black church in Charleston, S.C., allegedly carried out by white supremacist Dylann Roof.

State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30th) says that Jefferson Davis Highway is not the most welcoming name for a roadway that is a gateway into the area.  The highway runs through a large part of Ebbin’s 30th District. See a map here.  “It’s not the most welcoming name as we try to lure those from DC to shop and come in and do business in Virginia,” he said recently on The Kojo Nnamdi Show.

Governor McAuliffe Announces 700 New Jobs in Arlington and Spotsylvania Counties Following Meeting in Neckarsulm, Germany

RICHMOND, Va. — There’s more than one way to kill legislation in the Virginia General Assembly.

There’s the straight-up way: Put it up for a vote and lawmakers must go on record, pro or con.

Then there’s the stealthy way: Kill it in a subcommittee without a recorded vote, and it vanishes without a trace.

It’s a longstanding practice in Virginia’s 400-year-old legislature. But transparency advocates say the public deserves better.

Gov. Bob McDonnell expedited the restoration of voting rights of nonviolent felons who have completed their sentences. Gov. Terry McAuliffe has built on the precedent. The state Senate has taken the next step.

The chamber has given first approval to a proposed constitutional amendment to make restoration automatic. Nonviolent felons would not need to apply for it.

Section 1 of Article II in the Virginia Constitution describes qualifications of voters. The amendment adds the italicized language to the text:

A bill co-sponsored by Arlington legislators that would require college campuses to provide survivors of sexual assaults with options for off-campus resources — like counseling and law enforcement — has passed the state Senate.

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