Ebbin tries again to codify LGBTQ rights in Virginia law


State Senator Adam Ebbin (D) is once again trying to codify some basic LGBTQ rights in Virginia.

Ebbin has proposed three bills in the General Assembly relating to same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights – bills very similar to the three that were defeated in last year’s legislative session. They were all beaten in their respective commissions.

A bill would repeal the amendment to the Constitution of Virginia which defines valid or recognized marriages as “only a union between a man and a woman”. It also prohibits the creation or recognition of other legal relationship statuses – including partnerships and unions – which are granted the same rights and benefits as marriages. This amendment was approved by voters in the November 2006 election, but declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2014.

Another Ebbin Bill would repeal two state laws which prohibit same-sex marriages and civil unions. The prohibiting law marriage between persons of the same sex and considering that such marriages performed in another state are void was first enacted in 1975. law that does the same for civil unions was adopted in 2004.

The final invoice amend the Virginia Human Rights Act prohibiting public employers from discriminating against potential employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

In addition, this bill would ensure that pregnancy, childbirth / related medical conditions, marital status and veteran status are also included in the anti-discrimination section of the law. Race, color, religion, political affiliation, age, disability and national origin are already protected by this law.

These bills were reintroduced into the state legislature about six months after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Various Arlington officials have spoken after the decision, proof decision.

Ebbin – who became the first openly homosexual state legislator elected in Virginia in 2003 – could not be reached for comment on his proposals. All three are currently in committee for consideration.

The 2016 Virginia General Assembly legislative session is expected to last 60 days, from Jan.13 to March 12.

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