Sen. McEachin’s Non-Discrimination Bill Passes Senate Committee

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Excellent work by Sen. Donald McEachin (D-9th)! It's truly sad that this was a party-line vote; discriminating against people should be clearly wrong, no matter what your political persuasion happens to be.
Richmond - Yesterday afternoon, January 27th, 2010, Senator A. Donald McEachin’s (D-Henrico) Senate Bill 66, which codified non-discrimination for state employees including sexual and gender orientation passed the Senate General Law’s committee. The legislation will need to pass the entire Senate and then cross over to the House of Delegtes. The bill was supported by a wide range of organizations including AARP, the AAUP, the Virginia Education Association, the Virginia Governmental Employees Association, the Virginia AFL-CIO, and the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations.

Senator McEachin’s bill seeks to follow the guidance of Governor McDonnell who has said that an Executive Order is not the appropriate mechanism to ensure state employees are not subject to discrimination. Senator McEachin said, “Governor McDonnell has suggested that this is a separation of powers issue, better handled by the legislature. With that in mind, and recognizing that Governor McDonnell has said he does not support discrimination of any kind, I introduced this bill to use the method that Governor McDonnell seemed to say was most appropriate.

Senator McEachin continued, "I am very pleased to see us take this first step to ensuring that state employees have the same rights as the vast majority of employees of Fortune 500 companies or the top corporations in Virginia. With the passage of this legislation and Governor McDonnell’s signature, Virginia will become the thirty-first (31st) state to codify these anti-discrimination measures.

"Contrary to false accusations, this legislation will not force employers to ask potential employees any additional questions. If we are not discriminating, then we don’t need to know about anyone’s personal life. Moreover, this will help ensure that the Commonwealth of Virginia hires the very best persons, based on merit for each and every position, allowing the citizens of Virginia to not only get the most for their investment in the state, but to get the best service from state agencies."