VA House Approves LGBTQ Protections, Gov Will Sign

Michael Lavers reports at the Washington Blade:

A bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Virginia’s nondiscrimination law passed in the Virginia House of Delegates on Thursday.

State Del. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax County), the openly gay man who introduced the Virginia Values Act in the House, before the vote insisted the bill does not “interfere with anybody’s religious freedom.” “What it does is punish discrimination,” he said.

Governor Ralph Northam has said he will sign the Virginia Values Act into law once the House and Senate reconcile their versions of the bill. Advocates on Thursday noted Virginia will become the first state in the South to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their statewide nondiscrimination laws.