RICHMOND, Va. - Governor Ralph Northam has signed the Virginia Values Act, making Virginia the first state in the south to create LGBTQ community protections against discrimination.
The Virginia Values Act protects the LGBTQ community against discrimination in housing, employment, public spaces, and credit applications.
The bill also extends important protections to Virginians on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, and status as a veteran.
“This legislation sends a strong, clear message—Virginia is a place where all people are welcome to live, work, visit, and raise a family,” said Governor Northam. “We are building an inclusive Commonwealth where there is opportunity for everyone, and everyone is treated fairly. No longer will LGBTQ Virginians have to fear being fired, evicted, or denied service in public places because of who they are.”
Virginia is the first state in the South to have non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, the first state in over a decade to add both sexual orientation and gender identity to existing non-discrimination laws, and the first state since 1993 to add a prohibition on discrimination in public accommodations.
The law goes into effect on July 1.