LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Members of the LGBTQ community are now a protected class in Virginia.
Among the new laws that took effect Wednesday, July 1, is the Virginia Values Act. It extends existing non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
That applies in areas like housing, education, health care, and public accommodation.
“No one is going to able to turn them away at a hospital because of their sexual orientation and nobody is going to be able to turn someone down for a job because of their gender identity,” said Nick Morrow, the Communications Director of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocacy organization in the country.
“These protections mean a lot especially since a lot of people are struggling right now.”
Morrow says the non-discrimination law is particularly important during the pandemic.
“Especially now, during the pandemic, when people are already worried about their jobs, worried about getting goods and services, worried about going and getting health care, that these are protections that are really going to make people in the LGBTQ community feel so much more supported.”
Virginia is the first southern state to pass these protections.
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