Jan 14, 2015

Support Equality – General Assembly Session 2015

As the General Assembly begins its short session this year, I wanted to write to make you aware of some bills that have been introduced. As is true every year, some of our elected representatives are hoping to make an even stronger Virginia where all citizens will be treated equally, while some want to promote discrimination. I hope that you will join with equality minded individuals across the state and contact your Delegate or Senator to let them know that you support EQUALITY for all LGBT persons. The first day saw a bad start for equality with SB 799 sponsored by Sen. Barbara Favola being defeated in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee with a 7-7 vote.

If you would like to read more about more of the bills and the sponsors, you can go to the Legislative Information System for more information. Below is an example letter that you can use to write your Delegate or Senator asking them to oppose bills that are discriminatory, while supporting bills that promote equality.

Dear Delegate/Senator____________________

I am writing to urge you to oppose any bills that would allow discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, and their families. Specifically, as your constituent, I hope you will OPPOSE HB1414 and HB1409, which are both patroned by Del. Bob Marshall and will codify further discrimination into Virginia law.

I am also asking you to support and/or co-patron bills that will reinforce Virginia’s true values. Bills that support both equal opportunity and fairness for all Virginians will make Virginia stronger and better able to compete economically against other U.S. states and internationally.

Please support and co-patron bills that provide a foundation of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered Virginians. I urge you to support the following bills (with their primary patron in parentheses):

1) SB 785 (McEachin) and HB 1498 (Plum): To end employment discrimination.
2) SB 679 (Howell): To allow adoption by persons other than the spouse of a parent.
3) HB 1454 (Simon) and SB 917 (Wexton): To end discrimination in housing.
4) HB 1385 (Hope) and SB988 (Lucas): To prohibit reparative therapy while supporting gender reassignment therapy.
5) SJ 213 (Howell), SJ 214 (Ebbin), HJ 492 (Krupicka), and HJ 493 (Surovell): To update the Constitution of Virginia to reflect the freedom to marry in Virginia.
6) SB 682 (Ebbin), HB 1288 (Simon), HB 1289 (Surovell): To update the Virginia code to reflect the freedom to marry in Virginia.
7) HB 1494 (Sullivan): To update the Hate Crimes Act with sexual orientation and gender identity.
8) HJ 546 (Sullivan) and HB1600 (Simon): To provide for a study of how to revise relevant gender-specific references in the Code of Virginia.

As our great Commonwealth moves toward LGBT equality, I ask you to stand with the majority of Virginians and support equality for all Virginians!

Thank you,

Name
Address
Phone and Email

We also hope that you will join the efforts of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia to support equality minded candidates and spread the word about efforts to make Virginia a better place to live for all people. We hope you will become a member and/or donate to our PAC to support candidates that will work for full equality for all Virginians.