Friday, January 25, 2013

Virginia Senate Approves LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections

In a move that will enrage the hate merchants and Christofascist extremist at The Family Foundation ("TFF", the Virginia affiliate of Focus on the Family and the hate group Family Research Council), theVirginia Senate passed Senate Bill 701, a measure to protect Virginia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender state employees from workplace discrimination.  Among those voting for passage was Virginia Beach Senator Frank Wagner who I have known since the early 1990's.  The Bill will now go to the much more deranged and delusional House of Delegates which seems much more under the thumb of sadist/dominatrix like TFF president Victoria Cobb.  Should the Bill make it through the House of Delegates, conjecture is that Governor Bob "Taliban Bob" McDonnell will sign it so as to avoid the negative national media coverage he received at the outset of his term.  Here are excerpts from an Equality Virginia press release:

Richmond, VA – Senate Bill 701, a measure to protect Virginia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender state employees from workplace discrimination, passed today with a 24-16 vote in the Senate. Now, the bill moves forward to the House of Delegates.
"We're going to press forward with this momentum," said Senator Adam Ebbin, a chief patron of the bill. "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."
The bill, introduced by Senator Donald McEachin and Senator Ebbin extends protections for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
The bill has received support from 46 co-patrons in both in the House and Senate. Equality Virginia has recorded over 11,000 messages being sent in the past two months to the General Assembly in support of SB701 from citizens across the Commonwealth.
“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.”
Of Virginia’s top 25 private employers, 80 percent have policies protecting at least sexual orientation and 60 percent also protect gender identity and expression.
“In Virginia, LGBT protections will not pass without bi-partisan support. We are pleased that four Republican senators joined their Democratic colleagues in passing SB701 to protect LGBT state employees,” Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish said. “In the private sector, workplace protections are shown to decrease legal vulnerability while enhancing the employer’s reputation, increasing job satisfaction and boosting employee morale and productivity.”
YEAS: A. Donald McEachin, Adam P. Ebbin, Kenneth C. Alexander, George L. Barker, R. Creigh Deeds, John S. Edwards, Barbara A. Favola, Mark R. Herring, Janet D. Howell, Mamie E. Locke, David W. Marsden, Henry L. Marsh III, John C. Miller, Ralph S. Northam, Phillip P. Puckett, Linda T. Puller, Richard L. Saslaw, Charles Colgan, Jill Holtzman Vogel, Chap Petersen, Louise L. Lucas, John Watkins, Thomas Norment, Frank Wagner
NAYS: Frank Ruff, Richard Black, Thomas Garrett, Stephen Martin, Bryce Reeves, Walter Stosch, Richard Stuart, Harry B. Blevins, Charles W. Carrico, Emmett W. Hanger, Jr., Ryan McDougle, Jeffrey McWaters, Stephen D. Newman, Jr., Ralph Smith, William M. Stanley, Mark D. Obenshain

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