We took the step. Now, we have to take the next one.
Senate Bill 66, to prohibit discrimination in state employment due to sexual orientation or gender expression and identity, passed the Virginia State Senate, 23-17, yesterday. Thank you, Senator Donald McEachin.
Sadly, it was mostly a party-live vote, with all 22 Democrats voting “yes,” but only one Republican, Frederick Quayle, joining them.
This is not a partisan issue, but a justice issue.
The Family Foundation claims there have been no instances of discrimination so there is no need for the legislation. That is nonsense. Of course, LGBT people have been denied job protection in state government. They have to craft their own protection: staying closeted. This reduces their ability to perform their jobs at peak levels. That is their loss, and ours.
The Republican-controlled House of Delegates is undoubtedly less friendly to this legislation. But that should not stop us from letting them know what we want them to do. Until they hear us speak up for ourselves, and hear from our friends, families, and allies, they will think the Family Foundation is right.
You can contact your Delegate. Visit http://dela.state.va.us/dela/MemBios.nsf/MWebsiteTL?OpenView Don’t know who your Delegate is? Visit http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform
Virginia won’t change until we change it.