On Feb. 6, Virginia legislators passed comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation ( the Virginia Values Act ) that activists said makes the state the first in the South to have such protections for LGBTQ people, ABC News reported.
The bills advanced on bipartisan votes, 59-35 in the House and 30-9 in the Senate. Each chamber still must take up the other's measure in procedural votes before the legislation can be sent to Gov. Ralph Northam, who supports it, for final approval.
"It's important to know that discrimination is still happening in Virginia. It is time to drive it out," bill sponsor Sen. Adam Ebbin, who is openly gay, said at a press conference ahead of the votes.
In a press release Windy City Times received, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said, "Today, history was made in Virginia, and LGBTQ Virginians are one step closer to being protected from discrimination. No one should be discriminated against simply because of who they are or whom they love.
"This day would not have been possible without the years and years of tireless work from advocates across the commonwealth, or the voters in Virginia that filled the halls of the General Assembly with pro-equality champions who fulfilled their promises."
The ABC News item is at abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/virginia-lawmakers-pass-protections-lgbtq-people-68806466 .