Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order today that bans anti-LGBTQ discrimination among state employees, contractors and subcontractors.

“Starting today, the commonwealth of Virginia will not do business with entities that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” said McAuliffe in a statement. “Virginia is home to the best state workforce in the country and this policy will ensure there is no question that all Virginians are to receive the full benefits of their citizenship, without regard to their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

James Parrish, Executive Director of Equality Federation member Equality Virginia, described the executive order as “a huge leap forward in our goal toward becoming a state that is a safe, welcoming and equal place for all Virginians.”

“This executive order goes a long way towards keeping Virginia competitive to businesses and aligns the commonwealth’s practices with those of most Fortune 500 companies,” said Parrish.

The executive order marks a significant step forward, but in Virginia (and in nearly 30 other states), non-discrimination protections do not cover sexual orientation or gender identity.  LGBTQ people have no statewide non-discrimination protections. Governor McAuliffe’s Executive Order is a strong showing of support for LGBTQ Virginians, but the order – like those in ennsylvania, Louisiana, New York, Montana, and New Hampshire, and North Carolina before it, lacks the permanence of a law.

Equality Federation congratulates Equality Virginia on this step forward in their state!

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Mel King

Mel King is the Development and Operations Manager for Equality Federation, the national strategic partner to state-based organizations working to win equality in the communities we call home. In this role, he manages the individual giving program and the donor database, as well as operations for the communications department and internal systems. He also serves as the board liaison.

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