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VA Senate Passes Bill to End Sexual Orientation Discrimination Among State Workers

The Virginia state Senate passed a bill to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for state workers and in hiring for government jobs Monday. The bill passed on a 23 to 17 vote, but is expected to see opposition in the majority Republican state House. The proposed legislation defines sexual orientation as “a person’s actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, or gender identity or expression.” State Senator Donald McEachin (D), the bill’s sponsor, told the Washington Examiner “the time has come, it is the right thing to do, and this is the right time to do it.” According to the The Washington Post reports that this provision already exists in 30 other states. According to the Washington Examiner, state Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D), believes opponents of the bill will later regret their positions, the same way state officials who supported school segregation during the Civil Rights era later regretted their stances. In Virginia, the past two governors, Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, had issued executive orders with the same effect as the proposed legislation. New Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, who was inaugurated last month, has not issued a similar order.

Sources:

The Washington Examiner 2/9/2010; The Washington Post 2/9/2010; Feminist Daily News 11/5/2009