Monday, March 20, 2023

Hampton Roads Residents Lobby at Equality Virginia’s Day of Action

Equality Virginia’s ‘Day of Action’ annual lobbying day took on special importance yesterday as several pro-LGBTQ bills that have languished in Richmond in past years are likely to be passed and become law this session.

More than 50 persons from Hampton Roads traveled to Richmond to participate in Equality Virginia’s Day of Action. Attendees joined many others from across the state for the annual lobbying day. Equality Virginia arranged for meetings with targeted legislators, convened an afternoon of seminars and concluded with a reception attended by Governor Ralph Northam, members of his administration and legislators.

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Attendees visited with their legislators in the House of Delegates and Senate to promote several pieces of pro-LGBTQ legislation including the Virginia Values Act (SB 868 and HB 1663) that would ban discrimination in employment, housing, and employment for LGBT people and other Virginians. Both versions of the bill have passed in their committees, which means they may be up for a full floor vote this week.

Additionally, attendees lobbied for bills to ban conversion therapy for minors (SB 245 and HB 386); to modernize the process of updating name and gender marker on Virginia birth certificates (SB 657 and HB 1041); require the Department of Education to craft policies on creating an inclusive and safe environment for transgender students (SB 161 and HB 145); HB 1429, which would ban health insurance discrimination against transgender people and SB 246, which would require the DMV to offer an “X” gender marker.

In addition to meeting with legislators and their staff, attendees were introduced in the House of Delegates and the Senate, participated in a series of seminars at the Library of Virginia and were able to socialize with Governor Northam, Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and other elected officials at a reception.

Hampton Roads Pride, the LGBT Life Center, Hampton Roads Business Outreach (HRBOR) and Stonewall Sports Norfolk sponsored a free bus ride from Norfolk and Hampton for anyone interested in attending yesterday’s events in Richmond.

To learn more about the legislation moving through the House of Delegates and Senate, visit Equality Virginia HERE.

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