Virginia’s General Assembly LGBT Pro-Equality Legislation

 

After incredible victories to take the House of Delegates and the State Senate, 2020 is poised to be one of the best years for LGBT+ friendly legislation ever.  Thank you again for helping us elect Democrats that will vote to make Virginia a more equal place to live!

We are listing below several pieces of legislation that have been proposed and are making their way through the General Assembly.  Most are ones that are very supportive of LGBT+ Virginians. For more information on each, just click on the bill number and you will be linked to Virginia’s Legislative Information System for more information.

 

DISCRIMINATION

 

Prohibited discrimination: public accommodations, employment, credit, and housing – SB 868 (Ebbin): A comprehensive nondiscrimination policy that prohibits discrimination in public accommodations and employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Prohibited discrimination; public accommodations, employment, credit, and housing: causes of action; sexual orientation and gender identity – HB 1663 (Sickles): A comprehensive nondiscrimination policy that creates explicit causes of action for unlawful discrimination in public accommodations and employment in the Virginia Human Rights Act.

Prohibited discrimination; sexual orientation and gender identity – HB 1049 (Levine) and all other nondiscrimination bills: Prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodation, public contracting, apprenticeship programs, housing, banking, and insurance on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill contains technical amendments.

LGBTQ YOUTH

 

Public elementary and secondary school; treatment of transgender students, policies – SB 161 (Boysko) and HB 145 (Simon): Requires the Department of Education to develop and make available to each school board model policies regarding the treatment of transgender students in primary and secondary schools no later than December 31, 2020.

Conversion therapy; prohibited by certain health care providers – SB 245 (Surovell) and HB 386 (Hope): Prohibits any healthcare provider or person who performs counseling as any part of his profession licensed by the Department of Health Professions from engaging in conversion therapy with any person under 18 years of age.

Health regulatory boards; conversion therapy – HB 966 (Walker):

The Board of Counseling, the Board of Medicine, the Board of Nursing, the Board of Psychology, and the Board of Social Work may each promulgate regulations prohibiting the use of electroshock therapy or other similar non-speech therapy in the practice of counseling any person under 18 years of age, provided, however, that each such health regulatory board, in promulgating such regulations, shall protect the fundamental rights of the practitioner or patient protected under the United States Constitution and shall not promulgate regulations that remove the fundamental right of an individual to select for himself, based on an informed and voluntary choice, a form of counseling that involves nothing more than “talk therapy,” regardless of the age of the individual, including in situations where the patient is seeking such counseling to assist him in reducing or eliminating unwanted attractions or behaviors or concerns about gender identity – Not Recommended

MARRIAGE EQUALITY

 

Same-sex marriages; civil unions – SB 17 (Ebbin), SB 39 (Edwards), and HB 1490 (Guy): Repeals statutory prohibitions on same-sex marriages and civil unions or other arrangements between persons of the same sex claiming to bestow privileges and obligations of marriage, as affirmed by Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (June 26, 2015).

Constitutional amendment marriage; (first reference) – SJ 3 (Ebbin), SJ 7 (Edwards), HJ 113 (Sickles): Proposes the repeal of the constitutional amendment dealing with marriage that was approved by referendum at the November 2006 election.

MISCELLANEOUS LEGISLATION

 

Certificate of birth; new certificate issued to show change of sex – SB 657 (Boysko) and HB 1041 (Simon): The State Registrar, upon the request of a person in accordance with requirements of the Board of Health, shall issue a new certificate of birth to show a change of sex of a person, as well as a change of name if the person submits a court order that changed their name.

Sex designation; DMV – SB 246 (Surovell): Requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to offer any applicant the option to mark “X” when identifying the applicant’s sex, except when otherwise required by federal law.

Voter identification; repeal of photo identification requirements – HB 19 (Lindsey): Removes the requirement that voters show a form of identification containing a photograph in order to be allowed to vote.

Child-placing agencies; conscience clause, discrimination – HB 1051 (Levine): Repeals provisions that allowed child-placing agencies to refuse service to perform, assist with, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in any child placements when the proposed placement would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies. Also prohibits the Department of Social Services from providing funds to any child agency that, in making decisions regarding the placement of a child, discriminates on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or status as a veteran.

Adoption by stepparent; background check – HB 371 (Bell) and HB 1662 (Sickles): Repeals the July 1, 2020, sunset on provisions that require a circuit court, when determining whether an investigation by the director of the local department of social services should be required before a final order is entered to approve as an adoptive parent the spouse of a child’s birth or adoptive parent, to consider the results of a national criminal history background check conducted on the prospective adoptive parent. – Monitoring

SAFE COMMUNITIES

 

Hate crimes; adds gender, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation, penalty – SB 179 (Favola) and HB 488 (Kory): Adds gender, gender identity, disability, and sexual orientation to categories of hate crimes, as well as increasing the penalty of an offense against victims chosen based on gender, gender identity, disability, and sexual orientation.

Department of State Police; reporting hate crimes – HB1058 (Kory): Includes within the definition of a “hate crime” a criminal act committed against a person because of gender, sexual orientation, and disability, and requires the reporting of the commission of such crime to the State Police.

Infected sexual battery – HB 864 (Levine): Provides that, in order for a person to be convicted of infected sexual battery,  (i) knew that he was infected at the time of the offense with HIV, syphilis, or hepatitis B and (ii) knew that his infection was currently detectable and transmittable, and committed the offense without using a prophylactic barrier, including a condom or dental dam.