Northam Signs LGBTQ Protections Into Law


By Richard Foster, VirginiaBusiness

James Parrish, director of Virginia Values Coalition, speaks at a press conference ahead of the Virginia Values Act passage. (Capital News Service)

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Saturday that he has signed the Virginia Values Act into law, making Virginia the first Southern state to pass sweeping anti-discrimination laws protecting the LGBTQ community.

The act, which passed the Democratic-majority General Assembly in February and goes into effect July 1, prohibits discrimination in housing, employment, public spaces and credit applications. The legislation also extends protections to Virginians on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability and status as a veteran.

“This legislation sends a strong, clear message — Virginia is a place where all people are welcome to live, work, visit and raise a family,” Northam said in a statement. “We are building an inclusive commonwealth where there is opportunity for everyone and everyone is treated fairly. No longer will LGBTQ Virginians have to fear being fired, evicted, or denied service in public places because of who they are.”


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