Virginia is now for ALL lovers!! Today Gov. Ralph Northam signed the Virginia Values Act into law thereby ensuring all LGBTQ+ Virginians are protected from discrimination under state law. The National Equality Action Team (NEAT) joined the Virginia Values Coalition to ensure the voices of Virginians were heard by state lawmakers. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers across the country, NEAT made almost 30,000 dials to connect voters with their representatives and the Governor throughout the course of this campaign.
“I'm delighted that Governor Northam has signed the Virginia Values Act! As a NEAT volunteer, I called voters to make it easy for them to make their voices heard.”, said Lisa Danz, who made calls from California during the campaign, “This was a particularly exciting campaign because our work kept changing as the bill progressed through both houses and then landed on the Governor's desk. I'm proud of the Virginian electorate for making their voices heard, and I'm proud to have helped some of them do so. Thank you, Governor Northam and Virginia legislators, for making this happen!”
Twenty states and more than 250 towns all across the country have already passed laws protecting their LGBTQ+ residents, making Virginia the twenty-first state to do so, as well as the first state in the South to declare itself safe for all. The bill prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, public or private employment, public spaces and credit transactions. It also lays out the causes of action that would allow individuals to sue over alleged discrimination.
“This law being enacted means that the leaders of Virginia understand that LGBTQ+ Virginians deserve respect and protections in their state, just as much as any other resident,” said Brian Silva, Founder and Executive Director of NEAT. “I am extremely proud of our volunteers for their dedicated work and adaptability during this campaign.”