Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Lt. Gov. Northam Casts Tie-Breaking Vote for Gay-Rights Bill

Yours truly with Northam at a fundraiser
In another example that elections do truly matter, Lt. Governor Ralph Northam yesterday cast the tie breaking vote in the Virginia Senate on a bill that would provide employment protections to LGBT state employees.  Currently, unless one is a federal employee or works for a federal contractor covered by Barack Obama's executive ENDA order, LGBT Virginians have absolutely ZERO employment protections.  The bill will now go to the GOP dominated House of Delegates where it faces an uncertain fate as the Virginia GOP in fealty to the haters at The Family Foundation ("TFF") continues to wage war against gays, women and the poor.  Here are highlights from the Virginian Pilot on yesterday's vote:

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam cast a tie-breaking vote Tuesday to pass a bill that prohibits state agencies from discriminating in employment based on sexual orientation.

SB785 by Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico County, tied on a 19-19 vote in the Senate. Two Democrats were absent, but two Republicans joined the remaining 17 Democrats in supporting the bill. They were Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Fauquier County, and Sen. John Watkins, R-Midlothian.
The vote was the first tie-breaker of this year's session.

Northam's office issued a statement on his behalf: "Employment discrimination in any form is truly unacceptable, and the Commonwealth should be held to a high standard in this regard."
 It goes without saying that the two Republicans who voted for passage will likely find themselves on TFF's hit list.

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