LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Bills Killed by Virginia House Leadership

January 31, 2019 • 4:28 pm

Despite passing the Republican-controlled state senate for four consecutive years, House Speaker Cox blocked two bipartisan bills from receiving a committee vote

RICHMOND —  For the second year in a row, Virginia’s Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox killed two bipartisan pieces of legislation that would have protected LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing (HB 2677) and public employment (HB 2067). Both bills were set to be heard today by the House General Laws committee but were pulled from the committee docket at the eleventh hour despite widespread bipartisan support.

Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans, released the following statement:
“Today’s anti-LGBTQ actions by Virginia House leadership are dramatically out of step with voters, lawmakers, and Americans from all walks of life. As our nation’s politics become increasingly polarized, support for LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections can unite Americans from across the political spectrum. Equality is not a partisan issue, but a human issue – and it’s a shame when legislators who don’t yet realize that fundamental truth have the power to thwart commonsense, bipartisan bills to protect their constituents.

“We are proud to do this work alongside state partners like Equality Virginia, sharing the stories of LGBTQ people who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. It’s when Americans realize that LGBTQ people are their friends, family members, and neighbors, working alongside them and sharing similar dreams to build a good life for themselves and their families, that minds are changed and hearts are won. We know that the power of human connection is what will continue to move Virginia – and our nation – closer to a place of liberty and justice for all.”

Similar bills have passed the Republican-controlled state senate for the past four and six years respectively, including earlier this month. Recent polling found that over two-thirds of Virginia voters support protections for LGBTQ Virginians in housing and public employment, including majority support among self-identified Republican voters who have participated in at least 2 out of the past 4 primary elections. The polling occurred in back-to-back years, providing for a 12-month snapshot of Republican voter sentiment and was conducted by The Tarrance Group and Mason-Dixon, respectively.

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans, Democrats, and Independents; businesses large and small; people of faith; and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.

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