Virginia lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a comprehensive anti-discrimination bill, known as SB 868, which aims to protect LGBTQ people from unequal treatment. Virginia will become the first southern state to successfully add sexual orientation and gender identity to its statewide nondiscrimination law once the bill is approved and signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam.
Also known as the Virginia Values Act, the purpose of the bill is to modernize existing human rights laws in Virginia to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in their daily lives, making the state safer and fairer. The bill also lays out causes of action that would allow individuals to sue over discrimination.
The bill had the support of statewide organizations, including the Virginia Values Coalition and Equality Virginia.