Attorney General Mark R. Herring has again successfully defended the Virginia Values Act, a landmark piece of civil rights legislation that protects LGBT Virginians and others from discrimination, against another legal attack by conservative activists. After oral arguments in Loudoun County Circuit Court this morning, Judge James E. Plowman, Jr. ruled from the bench in favor of Attorney General Herring on nearly every count in the case, known as Calvary Road v. Herring.
“Our landmark civil rights protections will remain in place, and Virginia will remain a place that is open and welcoming to all, no matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship, or who you love,” said Attorney General Herring. “I was proud to support passage of the Virginia Values Act and am so proud of our work to successfully defend the law twice against legal attack. As CNBC recently confirmed when it named Virginia its ‘Best State for Business,’ inclusion and diversity make our Commonwealth stronger.”
In March, Attorney General Herring successfully defeated a challenge to the Virginia Values Act brought in federal court by the same conservative activist legal operation in a case called Updegrove v. Herring.
In successfully defending the Virginia Values Act in this case, Attorney General Herring and his team explained the importance of LGBT discrimination protections, writing in legal briefs that “Virginia’s elected leaders sought to protect the Commonwealth’s more than 300,000 LGBT residents from the type of discrimination that has long infected public life.” The briefs also explained that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the laws because they had not actually been harmed by them. The Court agreed and dismissed every claim regarding the Virginia Values Act and its protections against unlawful discrimination.
Because the judge ruled from the bench, an order consistent with his ruling will be entered in the coming weeks.