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Mayor Levar Stoney

OUTstanding Virginians 2019


Mayor Levar Stoney

Progressive, Visionary, Leader

Mayor Levar Stoney

When you go to see Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney in his City Hall office, look at the artwork on the walls – it tells a story. First you see a nice piece of seemingly abstract impressionism where multicolored letters start to “come out” from the busy background to spell VIRGINIA PRIDE. Then you see a framed Richmond Magazine cover from last August showing the beaming mayor in front of indie musician Lucy Dacus and Mecca Williams, a fashion trendsetter and mental health counselor. Together, the images present a pleasingly youthful image befitting the office of Richmond’s youngest-ever elected mayor.

It’s only after you listen to Mayor Stoney describe his vision for Richmond’s future that you understand how apt these images are.  Since taking office on the last day of 2016, he has devoted much energy and thought to attract young professionals, entrepreneurs, and artists to Richmond. His success in this area has been noticed on a national scale. Time Magazine recently named Richmond the #2 Top Place Millennials are Moving.

According to Mayor Stoney, the key to success with this demographic is to cultivate an ethos of inclusion throughout the community. “I really believe we must create a place where you can feel welcome no matter how much money you have, who you love, or who you pray to,” he says. Citing his magazine cover-mate’s decision to make her native city the home base for an international music career, he says, “People like Lucy Dacus are attracted by the fact that we are not static—we have a progressive culture.” To Mayor Stoney, boosting the city’s attractiveness does not come down to politics. “Richmond has long voted in a progressive manner,” he points out, “but we need to live in a progressive manner.”

Living in a progressive manner includes at its very center taking care of and celebrating the LGBTQ community.  This has been a core belief since the mayor’s college days at James Madison University, where as student body president he proposed adding protections for sexual orientation to the student Bill of Rights.  “I thought there would be pushback from the administration,” he says, but there was none, and the antidiscrimination language was added to the student handbook.

As Secretary of the Commonwealth in Governor Terry McAuliffe’s cabinet, he made LGBTQ tourism a priority for promoting economic growth. As Richmond’s new top executive, Mayor Stoney saw opportunities to improve the lives of LGBTQ residents and city employees. “I said OK, Richmond, we have to expect more than tolerance,” he says, “we should expect justice for everyone.”  Some of his measures were symbolic, like flying Pride flags at Brown’s Island and the downtown train station. Others were policy enhancements, such as working with City Council to establish a Human Rights Commission and non-discrimination laws, designating a policy advisor to serve as the Mayor’s LGBTQ+ liaison, and offering transgender-inclusive health benefits for city employees.

These efforts did not go unnoticed. Before Mayor Stoney took office, Richmond’s score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI), which measures a locality’s responsiveness to the LGBTQ+ community, was 46 out of 100.  Mayor Stoney remembers learning about the score in 2017 and feeling challenged to put major changes in place. He told his team, “We’ve got to do better; to be competitive in the New South we must lean into inclusivity.” Within a year Richmond was able to increase its score to 94 – the highest MEI score in Virginia—and was named an MEI All-Star city for “boldly leading the way toward LGBTQ+ equality.”

Mayor Stoney hopes the transformation in Richmond will be used as a model throughout the state. “If not at the capital then where else?” he asks. “Shouldn’t we be taking the lead?” This is one of the reasons why he goes out of his way to celebrate the business, artistic and cultural achievements of the local LGBTQ community. “It’s not about being Top Ten for folks to visit; it’s being Top Ten for those who live here. How welcoming are we to our own residents?”

Mayor Stoney sees opportunities and challenges ahead in the area of intersectionality, where multiple identities react to each other. “I always want to see new faces added to the table, in political leadership as well as our social lives,” he says.

Mayor Stoney’s actions on behalf of LGBTQ Richmonders are often personal and go well beyond the duties of his office. He is a regular participant in Pride Fest and Equality Virginia events. “I love the diversity of community you see in Richmond,” he says, “allies, friends, neighbors all together.” His very first act as mayor—performed at midnight right after being sworn in—was to preside over the marriage of two friends, Johnny Maher and Drew Thomasson. “It was a beautiful ceremony,” Mayor Stoney recalls. “Since then, I’ve done four same-sex weddings, all close friends of mine.”

One of his most treasured moments as mayor took place last November, when he received Diversity Richmond’s inaugural Guy Kinman Jr. Leadership Award for “courageous leadership that’s produced significant, positive change for the LGBTQ  community.” A year earlier, Mayor Stoney had celebrated the gay civil rights icon’s 100th birthday with a mayoral resolution declaring the day Guy Kinman Day. Now it was the mayor’s turn to receive a surprise honor. He didn’t see it coming. “You guys got me,” he said.

Community Education Program

Community Education Program

Through our Community Education Program, we are preparing transgender individuals, families, and allies to share their stories to make an impact on nondiscrimination legislation. 

Storytelling Initiative

Many people do not realize that laws protecting Virginians on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation are currently nonexistent. Participants in the Community Education Program (CEP) share their stories of discrimination or support for nondiscrimination protections in housing and public employment. Stories grab people’s attention and make larger issues more personal. Advocates can also use these stories as examples of what to do and what not to do when showing support for their transgender friends, family, and neighbors.

Reports consistently show that the majority of Virginians support non-discrimination protections for gay and transgender people. Individual stories take that support one step further and personalize the positive impact these protections would have on their lives.  Not only do these stories educate, but they also help to build community. We want our storytellers feel strengthened and energized by this process. In sharing these stories, we hope that individuals are empowered to continue speaking out and inspire others to do the same.

Through the stories gathered in this program, we can strengthen the case for passing nondiscrimination bills in housing and public employment in Virginia. Nobody should have to live in fear of being fired or denied housing because of their gender identity.

Sharing Your Story

Equality Virginia works with transgender folks, their families, and allies to increase the visibility of personal stories that can make an impact on nondiscrimination policies. The stories shared can help us encourage legislators to create inclusive policies, allow media to tell authentic stories of transgender lives, and help trans people and allies develop connections important to our community.

Participants will work directly with a member of our team to find the best format for each personal story and determine how widely they would like their story to be shared. Some folks may want to speak directly with legislators while others may wish to remain anonymous. We appreciate any and all interest our supporters have in sharing their stories. We also acknowledge that it can take a serious act of courage to share personal truths. Thus, we will never share information without express permission. Our goal is a respectful distribution of the truths within our community.


Many people do not realize that there are currently no laws protecting Virginians on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. All people should be treated fairly and equally, which is why folks across the Commonwealth are publicly voicing their support for passing nondiscrimination bills in housing, employment, and public accommodations.  While over time, support has grown for gay and lesbian issues, many people are still learning about the lives and experiences of transgender people. One story at the time, we are helping build support and understanding for the identities and lives of Virginia’s transgender community.

Click here to read the stories of transgender people and allies in Virginia and how they are affected by the lack of legal protections.

LGBTQ + YOU: Info Session

From sexual orientation to gender identity, LGBTQ + You will explore terminology and hot-topic issues in a fun and interactive way, with ample time for a question and answer period.

We’ll wrap up with next steps you can take right now to build a more LGBT-friendly VA.

All are welcome! LGBTQ community members, allies, and folks with questions or interest in supporting the community are encouraged to attend.

2018 Equality Virginia Commonwealth Dinner


If you were one of the nearly 1,000 people who attended the 15th Annual Commonwealth Dinner on April 14th presented by Altria Group, thank you for being there to celebrate our victories, learn more about the challenges ahead, and honor our OUTstanding Virginians. EV’s staff and board felt the support of all who gathered with us! The evening would not have been possible without you.

This year’s Dinner served to showcase the vitality of Virginia’s LGBT community. Because of you, Equality Virginia raised almost $300,000 to help us safeguard equality’s momentum in the Commonwealth by standing up for LGBT Virginians at the General Assembly, furthering transgender visibility, and increasing pro-LGBT business participation. We broke records with our text-to-give portion of the evening raising more than $42,000. You can still help us grow that total and add your name to the virtual board. Just text EQVA to 243725 to give!

Keep reading to find out about all the exciting things that happened Saturday night. And check out the incredible photos from the evening on our Facebook photo album.

We celebrated LGBT affirming legislators and groundbreaking out candidates …

Each year at the Commonwealth Dinner it is an honor to welcome elected leaders from across the state who support equality. It was our pleasure this year to see numerous public officials, including US Congressmen Donald McEachin and Bobby Scott, Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring, and Governor Ralph Northam. With protections for LGBT Virginians in striking distance, we are grateful to have the bipartisan support of leaders from all over the Commonwealth. With your advocacy—and these affirming legislators—we will keep moving equality forward.

At the Dinner, Governor Ralph Northam spoke of the need for a welcoming and inclusive Virginia. We’re grateful to have had the support of Governor since his first day in office when he signed Executive Order 1 prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in state government.

2017 saw a record-breaking number of out LGBT candidates on the ballot for Virginia’s House of Delegates. At the Dinner, we took a moment to recognize them including the four out members of the House of Delegates: Dawn Adams, Mark Levine, Danica Roem, and Mark Sickles.



We recognized our OUTstanding Virginians …


Every year Equality Virginia shines a spotlight on those who have dedicated their lives to fighting for equality. The 2018 honorees have been on the front-lines for fairness, improving their communities and striving for a more inclusive Virginia. These individuals and organizations have educated, advocated, and demonstrated what it means to truly be an OUTstanding Virginian. Watch the video below to learn more about these OUTstanding Virginians!


We were inspired by a transgender veteran’s story …

Ann Murdoch, a member of our Transgender Advocacy Speakers Bureau, took the stage to share a journey of self-discovery, complete with a knight, terrible dragons, and triumphant princess. She likened the advocates and supporters of Equality Virginia to the great rainbow army that helped her defeat the dragons of shame and discrimination. We’ve all heard inspiring stories about a transgender person’s journey towards self-acceptance and happiness, but Ann’s unique perspective helped us shine a light on how transgender military bans impact our neighbors, friends, and loved ones right here in Virginia.



We gave a glimpse into our Day of Action …

Our 2018 Day of Action was on February 5 and gave attendees a chance to address issues important to them directly with their legislators and their staffs. We debuted the Day of Action video at the Commonwealth Dinner so that attendees could see just how vital is it to connect with elected leaders. Click below to watch!


We kicked up our heels …




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PWC Proud 2017

Equality Virginia returns to Prince William County for PWC Proud—a week of activities for LGBT residents and allies in PWC. We hope that you can join us for one or more of these exciting events planned in your area! 

Saturday, June 17, 2017: Equality Means Business Celebration

Join Equality Virginia staff and volunteers, as well as community leaders, for a visit to your favorite PWC businesses encouraging them to become a part of Equality Means Business (EMB), a collection of local business across Virginia that are safe and welcoming for LGBT people to work and shop. After some brief stops at a few stores in downtown Manassas, have a drink on EV to celebrate the new sign-ups at Bad Wolf Public House.

11:00 AM: Meet at Bad Wolf Public House (9406 Battle Street, Manassas, VA) and hit the streets with us for EMB
12:00 PM: Gather back at Bad Wolf Public House for a brief program
12:15 PM: Hang out at Bad Wolf Public House and celebrate with a drink on EV !

Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Monday, June 19, 2017: Manassas City Council Proclamation of June as LGBT Pride Month

The Manassas City Council will issue an official proclamation recognizing June as LGBT Pride Month and honoring LGBT members of the community. This is the first recognition of its kind in the City’s history! Wear purple for pride and join EV along with your fellow community members to celebrate this historic event.

6:45 PM: Meet EV in the Manassas City Council Lobby (9027 Center St., Manassas, VA) and wear purple!
7:00 PM: Proclamation of Pride Month, immediately followed by a celebratory drink at Bad Wolf Public House (9406 Battle Street, Manassas, VA)

Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017: PWC School Board Non-Discrimination Policy Hearing

On June 21st, 2017 at 5:30 PM EV will be on hand at the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center (14715 Bristow Road, Manassas, VA) for the Prince William County School Board Meeting (meeting begins at 7:00 PM). The school board will be voting to amend the nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Wear your purple one more time and attend this meeting to show your support for PWC students and staff.

Click here for more information and to RSVP.

We looking forward to seeing you soon!


Local Action Kit

Local Action Kit

Equality Means Business

Equality Means Business showcases local businesses Virginia that embrace diversity among employees and clientele. These businesses sign a pledge not to turn away any customers or deny or restrict employment based upon their sexual orientation or gender identity. Click here to find businesses near you.

Inclusive Schools

Learn about the work we are doing at the local school level and how you can be involved in your community–from starting a GSA to discussing policy with your school board.

Local Leaders

Find out if your local elected officials have signed our statement of support for non-discrimination protections.

Contact My Legislator

We make it easy for you to send a message to your Virginia representatives to let them know they must keep LGBT equality a priority in policy-making.

Host a House Party for Equality

Host party for us! Invite your friends to tell them about the work we do on behalf of LGBT Virginians.

Make a Contribution to Equality Virginia Today

EV works with elected officials, from your local town hall to the executive mansion, to fight for all LGBT Virginians.  We continue to safeguard equality’s momentum in the Commonwealth, but we can’t do it without you!

Resources for Connecting with Local Leaders

Resources for Connecting with Local Leaders

EV believes that change starts at the local level. Learn more about the leaders in your community—from school board members to mayors—and why it’s important to talk them about the issues that matter to you.

Local Leaders for Fairness

The majority of Virginians and business leaders in the Commonwealth agree that including protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, public accommodations, and the workplace makes Virginia a more welcoming and inclusive place.

However, Virginia has no such protections. Equality Virginia engages with leaders at every level of government to advocate for the basic human right of all LGBT individuals to be free from discrimination.

Click here to see a list of local officials who have signed Equality Virginia’s statement supporting legislation to protect LGBT in the areas of housing, public accommodations, and the workplace.

Local School Board Work

District Map Updated 09.26.2016Equality Virginia believes that all students and school employees have the right to feel safe in their educational environment or workplace, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. The map below shows the Virginia counties where students and staff are protected from discrimination and those counties where there is work still to be done.

Our Safe Schools work includes providing educational documents and personal stories, facilitating training, phone calls, letters, and meetings with school board members and administrative officials, sending membership emails, and participation in public forums. Protecting students and employees in schools takes teamwork, to find out how you be a part of the changes be made be emailing us at [email protected].

Creating Inclusive Schools

Creating Inclusive Schools

Equality Virginia believes that all students and school employees have the right to feel safe in their educational environment or workplace, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. 

Current Status

Currently, thirteen school districts in Virginia have non-discrimination protections for students and employees that include sexual orientation and gender identity: Albermarle, Charlottesville, Loudoun, Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Chuch, Fairfax, Manassas, Manassas Park, Prince William, Richmond, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach. This accounts for more than 35% of Virginia’s public school students and employees are protected based on their sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Many school districts don’t realize they have the power to protect LGBT students and employee through policy updates. Due to Attorney General Mark Herring’s 2015 opinion on school boards’ authority, localities are able to enact nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity.

View a PDF version here.

Our Work

Equality Virginia works with public school districts across Virginia to update bullying and nondiscrimination policies so that they include both sexual orientation and gender identity & expression.

A 2017 survey from GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) shows that verbal harassment decreases significantly in schools with LGBTQ-inclusive anti-bullying policies. Additionally, employees of these districts are more likely to intervene when they witness instances of harassment. Therefore, we believe it is in the school district’s best interests to implement comprehensive nondiscrimination policies to protect students in the state of Virginia.

Our Safe Schools work includes sharing educational documents and personal stories, facilitating training, phone calls, letters, and meetings with school board members and administrative officials, sending membership emails, and participation in public comment periods. We work to ensure every LGBTQ student has a fair chance to succeed in school and prepare for their future. Every child should be treated fairly and equally under the law.

Bring Inclusivity to Your School

More Actions


To Learn More:

  • Schools in Transition, A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools. Expansive, detailed guide on how to help schools become more inclusive for gender diversity in ways that benefit all students.
  • Transgender Students and Bathrooms, Gender Spectrum. Being able to feel safe in everyday spaces in incredibly important for trans youth. Check out this guide for understanding how to make bathrooms accessible for trans students and why it matters.

Student Support: 

OUTstanding Virginians

OUTstanding Virginians are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied individuals or organizations taking the lead in moving equality forward across the Commonwealth. In light of the importance of being out to the LGBT movement, each year Equality Virginia recognizes leaders who have represented the community with distinction.

Statistics show that knowing someone within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community increases support for LGBT rights. This positive correlation makes coming out a critical component of the LGBT movement’s future progress.

The EV Board of Directors has selected the 2018 honorees from dozens of nominees. These seven individuals and organizations were honored at our 15th Annual Commonwealth Dinner on April 14! Watch the video below to learn more about them!

Amy Adams is a mother of three whose daughter Morgan came out as transgender at the age of 10. Since then, Amy has worked to mobilize her Stafford County neighbors in opposition to discriminatory school policies and address anti-trans legislation with her representatives at the General Assembly. Amy started a He, She, Ze, and We group in Fredericksburg and runs a Facebook group for Virginia parents of transgender youth. Last year, Amy founded Equality Stafford which has successfully advocated for her county’s school board to form an Equality, Diversity, and Opportunity Committee and is helping the county update its nondiscrimination policies. Amy is currently leading a campaign to make sure all Stafford County schools have GSAs.
Michael Berlucchi serves on the Hampton Roads Pride Board of Directors as Immediate Past President and has fulfilled numerous leadership roles within the organization, including president, vice president, chairman of PrideFest, chairman and co-founder of the Pride Block Party, and chairman of the Events and Communications committees. Michael is the Community Engagement Manager at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, where he creates and implements educational programs designed to expand and diversify museum audiences. He is an appointed member of Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission and serves on the Board of Directors of Teens With a Purpose, and the Norfolk Tourism Research Foundation.
Rev. Emma Chattin became an ordained minister in MCC (Metropolitan Community Churches) in 2004, a denomination founded by and for the GLBTIQQ communities, and she currently serves as the Pastor for the MCC of Northern Virginia in Fairfax City. Emma is also the Executive Director of the TransGender Education Association of Greater Washington DC (TGEA) whose mission is to support individuals in transition and the communities into which they are transitioning. Rev. Chattin is founding co-facilitator of several support groups for the transgender population, among them, parents of trans-youth, and trans & gender-expansive tweens & teens.
Lisa Cumbey has given her marketing and design talents to groups serving the LGBT community since the 1980s. Her mostly pro bono creative work for organizations is estimated at over $1 million and includes work around HIV/AIDS educational materials, Richmond’s very earliest Pride parades on Cary Street, and the area’s first LGBT chamber of commerce—Central Virginia Business and Professional Guild, among others. She was part of the design and rebranding team for Diversity Richmond and was instrumental in creating their Iridian Gallery, the only art gallery in the south with the sole mission of supporting LGBT artists. The gallery recently featured the artwork of her late brother, J. Alan Cumbey, who died of AIDS in 1992. Lisa donated all proceeds from the sale of her brother’s work to Diversity Richmond.
Zakia McKensey is the founder of Nationz Foundation, a nonprofit providing HIV prevention and overall wellness education while inspiring the community to take responsibility for their health. Nationz also works to create a more inclusive Central Virginia for LGBTQIA+ individuals. As someone personally affected by HIV/AIDS—through the loss of friends and loved ones—she felt compelled to educate herself and others, and since then has operated in the field of HIV prevention and education. Zakia has also worked for 26 years as a performer, holding a total of 180 titles, including Miss Club Colors, Miss Fieldens, Miss Godfreys, and Miss Peach State International.
Jim O’Connor has been a resident of Prince William County since 1971 and has long been active in his community. He is the current president of Equality Prince William (EPW) which seeks to assure fair treatment for every individual in the county. The group successfully urged the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park recognize June as LGBT Pride Month. They also recruited over 40 new PWC businesses to participate in EV’s Equality Means Business program. Jim is an Army veteran who served in Vietnam and worked as Senior Director for International Trade Policy at the American Chemistry Council.
Richmond Triangle Players exists to change the community’s conversation about diversity and inclusion through the production of LGBTQ-themed works. A nonprofit, professional theatre company organized in 1993, RTP delivers adventurous and entertaining theater as the leading voice in the community’s explorations of equality, identity, affection, and family, across sexual orientation and gender and is the only professional theatre company in the entire Mid-Atlantic region which expressly and regularly serves the LGBTQ community.



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Click here to learn more last year’s OUTstanding Virginians



Meet other from honorees from previous years:



Meet 2016's OUTstanding Virginians ►
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Meet 2015's OUTstanding Virginians ►



Meet 2014's OUTstanding Virginians ►


Meet 2013's OUTstanding Virginians ►


Meet 2012's OUTstanding Virginians ►


Meet 2011's OUTstanding Virginians ►


Meet 2010's OUTstanding Virginians ►


Meet 2009's OUTstanding Virginians ►
  • Rita Mae Brown – Crozet-based screenwriter and author, most notably of “Rubyfruit Jungle”.
  • Clarence Cain – UVA Law School graduate whose life and death from HIV/AIDS inspired the 1993 film “Philadelphia”.
  • Meg Christian – Women’s music icon and founder of Olivia Records.
  • Marge Connelly – Financial industry executive.
  • Adam Ebbin – First openly gay member of Virginia’s General Assembly and founder of Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club.
  • Jay Fisette – First openly gay elected official in Virginia and Arlington County Board member.
  • Billy Haines – First openly gay Hollywood actor, during the silent movie era.
  • Claus Ihlemann – Norfolk activist and owner of Decorum Furniture.
  • Jon Klein – Founder of Diversity Thrift and Richmond Organization for Sexual Minority Youth (ROSMY).
  • Beth Marschak – Richmond activist, author, and historian.
  • Lucy Randolph Mason – Labor organizer who helped pass 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Diane Schroer – Winner of landmark transgender workplace discrimination case.
  • Tony Segura and Marsh Harris Segura – Tony was the founder of the Mattachine Society and Marsh was a prolific author of gay pulp fiction.
  • L.A. “Shep” Shepherd and Norma Hofheimer – Mid-century lesbian activist couple from Richmond.
  • Wanda Sykes – Emmy-award winning writer and comedian/actress.
  • Tracy Thorne-Begland – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell activist and Deputy Commonwealth Attorney of Richmond.
  • Lawrence Webb – First openly gay black elected official in Virginia and Falls Church City Council member.
  • Charles Whitebread – Former UVA law professor and LGBT philanthropist.
  • Mel White and Gary Nixon – Founders of Lynchburg-based Soulforce.
  • Bob Witeck – Northern Virginia business owner and LGBT media consultant.

Equality Virginia At The General Assembly



Every year, Equality Virginia monitors all legislation introduced to the Virginia General Assembly and advocates on behalf of Virginia’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. We work to introduce and support pro-equality legislation and to oppose bills that move us backward.

You can be involved by participating in Equality Virginia’s Day of Action on February 7, 2017—mark your calendars! The Day of Action empowers LGBT and allied Virginians to create positive change, meet legislators and discuss legislation, and attend workshops hosted by some of the area’s top attorneys and fellow activists.

The General Assembly session for 2017 begins on Wednesday, January 11. We track bills as they are filed and will update this page with the legislation’s progress. Check back for updates and make sure you’re on our list to receive action updates. To date, relevant bills that have so far been filed include:


Same-sex marriages; civil unions – HB 1395 (Sickles), SB 782 (Ebbin): Repeals existing obsolete law banning same-sex marriages and civil unions. Read more here. EV SUPPORTS

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); marriage – HJ 538 (Sickles),  SJ 2 (Ebbin), SJ 9 (Locke), SJ 32 (McEachin): Proposes the repeal of the constitutional amendment dealing with marriage that was approved by referendum at the November 2006 election. Read more here.  EV SUPPORTS


Virginia Human Rights Act; nondiscrimination in public employment – SB 783 (Ebbin): Prohibits discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, as defined in the bill. Read more here. EV SUPPORTS

Fair Housing Law; unlawful discriminatory housing practices, sexual orientation, etc – SB 822 (Wexton): Adds discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity as an unlawful discriminatory housing practice. The bill defines “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” Read more here. EV SUPPORTS


Click here to receive our e-mails and stay updated during session and beyond.

View last year's General Assembly action!
We were successful in killing all of bad bills this session, but unfortunately none of the bills that we supported passed out of the House this session.


    Government Nondiscrimination Act; creation – HB 773 (Gilbert): Creates the Government Nondiscrimination Act, which prohibits a government entity from taking any discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes, speaks, or acts in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman and that the terms “man” and “woman” refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics of the individual at the time of birth. OPPOSE

    Status: House: Failed to pass in House

    Religious freedom; solemnization of marriage – SB 41 (Carrico): Provides that no individual authorized to solemnize any marriage shall be required to do so and no religious organization shall be required to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization of any marriage if the action would cause the individual or organization to violate a sincerely held religious belief. Read more here. OPPOSE

    Status: Vetoed by Governor

    Sex or gender discrimination; applicable federal law – HB 77 (Marshall): Provides that for the purposes of the Virginia Human Rights Act, an “unlawful discriminatory practice” shall not include conduct that violates any federal administrative policy, rule, or regulation adopted on or after January 1, 2012. The language undermines federal executive orders meant to protect Virginia’s LGBT community. Read more here. OPPOSE

    Status: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote

    Discrimination; ordinances or regulations prohibiting – HB 385 (Marshall): Prohibits any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, including a locality or school board, from enacting an ordinance or adopting a regulation prohibiting discrimination on any basis other than race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, age, marital status, or disability.OPPOSE

    Status: Failed to report (defeated) in General Laws (10-Y 12-N)

    Discrimination; specification of certain terms relating to sex or gender – HB 397(LaRock): Specifies that the terms “because of gender,” “because of sex,” “on the basis of gender,” and “on the basis of sex” and terms of similar import when used in reference to discrimination in the Code and acts of the General Assembly mean because of or on the basis of the biologic character or quality that distinguishes an individual as either male or female as determined by analysis of the individual’s gonadal, internal and external morphologic, chromosomal, and hormonal characteristics. OPPOSE

    Status: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote

    Certificate of birth; amendment; designation of sex – HB 431 (LaRock): Provides that the designation of sex on a certificate of birth shall only be changed pursuant to an order of a court of competent jurisdiction indicating that the initial designation of sex was incorrect due to a typographical error.OPPOSE

    Status: Left in Committee on General Laws

    Use of restroom facilities; penalty – HB 663HB 781 (Cole): Requires the Director of the Department of General Services and local school boards to develop and implement policies that require, respectively, that every restroom designated for public use in any public building on property that is owned, leased, or controlled by the Commonwealth and every public school restroom, locker room, and shower room that is designated for use by a specific gender to solely be used by individuals whose anatomical sex matches such gender designation. OPPOSE

    Status: Failed to report (defeated) in General Laws (8-Y 14-N)

    Marriage licenses; issuance by State Registrar of Vital Records, conscience clause – SB 40(Carrico): Provides that a clerk or deputy clerk shall not be required to issue a marriage license if such clerk has an objection to the issuance of such license on personal, ethical, moral, or religious grounds.Read more here. OPPOSE

    Status: Left in Courts of Justice



    Virginia Human Rights Act; nondiscrimination in public employment – SB 12 (Ebbin and McEachin): Prohibits discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, as defined in the bill. Read more here. SUPPORT

    Status: House: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote

    Fair Housing Law; unlawful discriminatory housing practices, sexual orientation, etc – HB 300(Simon), SB 67 (Wexton): Adds discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity as an unlawful discriminatory housing practice. The bill defines “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” Read more here. SUPPORT

    HB 300 Status: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote

    SB 67 Status: House: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote

    Virginia Human Rights Act; prohibited discrimination in employment – HB 179 (Kory), HB 429(Villanueva): Prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation. The bill defines “sexual orientation” as a person’s actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, or gender identity or expression. SUPPORT WITH AMENDED  LANGUAGE

    Status: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote

    Prohibited discrimination in employment and housing – HB 913 (Toscano): Prohibits discrimination in private or public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. SUPPORT

    Status: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote

    Virginia Human Rights Act; public employment, public accommodation, and housing – HB 1005(Levine): Prohibits discrimination in employment and public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation. The bill defines “sexual orientation” as a person’s actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, or gender identity or expression. SUPPORT WITH AMENDED  LANGUAGE

    Status: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote


    Hate crimes; reporting to State Police – HB 35 (Sullivan), SB 82 (Favola): Includes within the definition of “hate crime” a criminal act committed against a person because of sexual orientation or gender identification and requires the reporting of the commission of such crime to the State Police.Read more here. SUPPORT

    HB 35 Status: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote

    SB 82 Status: Passed by indefinitely (killed) in Courts of Justice (9-Y 6-N)


    Same-sex marriages; civil unions – HB 5 (Simon), SB 10 (Ebbin): Repeals existing obsolete law banning same-sex marriages and civil unions. Read more here. SUPPORT

    HB 5 Status: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote

    SB 10 Status: Continued to 2017 in Courts of Justice (13-Y 1-N)

    Constitutional amendment (first resolution); marriage – SJ 2 (Ebbin), SJ 9 (Locke), SJ 32(McEachin): Proposes the repeal of the constitutional amendment dealing with marriage that was approved by referendum at the November 2006 election. Read more here. SUPPORT

    Status:  Continued to 2017 in Privileges and Elections (12-Y 0-N)


    Conversion therapy; prohibited, no state funds shall be expended for purpose of therapy – HB 427(Hope), SB 262 (Surovell), SB 267 (Dance): Prohibits any health care provider or person who performs counseling as part of his training for any profession licensed by a regulatory board of the Department of Health Professions from engaging in conversion therapy with any person under 18 years of age.SUPPORT

    Status HB 427: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table by voice vote

    Status SB 262, 267: Passed by indefinitely (killed) in Education and Health (8-Y 5-N)

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