While Supreme Court Hears Major LGBTQ Rights Case, Virginia Republicans Already Support Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination
RICHMOND, VA - In what will be one of the most consequential decisions of the Supreme Court's term, the Justices today began considering cases that will determine whether federal discrimination laws protect gay and transgender workers. Earlier this year in Virginia, Democrats pushed for bills that would strengthen employment protections and prevent LGBTQ Virginians from being fired or denied housing based on their sexuality or gender identity.
But Virginia Republicans killed those bills without a hearing or vote, ensuring Virginia remained one of the states in which anti-LGBTQ discrimination is perfectly legal. While the Supreme Court is still determining whether firing someone for their gender identity or sexuality is legal, Kirk Cox and other Republicans in the General Assembly have already decided where they stand on the issue.
In addition, Vice President Mike Pence announced today that he would be rallying with Virginia Republicans in the coming weeks, staging an event in Virginia's 7th Congressional District. Pence has a history of being one of the most anti-LGBTQ elected officials in the country. As a Congressman he worked to ban marriage equality, as Governor of Indiana he refused to support non-discrimination protections and signed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act that sparked national protests by opening the door to anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
Despite this and his continued support of the Trump administration's numerous attempts to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans, Virginia Republican officials will surely clamor to share the stage with him.
"Virginia Republicans aren't waiting for the Supreme Court to make a decision. By blocking bills that would prevent discrimination and rallying with Mike Pence, the Republican Party of Virginia is sending a clear message that they stand opposed to the rights and freedoms of all LGBTQ Virginians," said DPVA Press Secretary Grant Fox.