Metro Weekly
January 22, 2013

LGBT-equality advocates in Virginia are celebrating a small victory after SB701, a bill prohibiting discrimination in public employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity, passed out of the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee on an 8-7 vote Monday evening, clearing its first hurdle on what supporters hope is its path to eventual passage. The bill was introduced by Democratic Senators A. Donald McEachin and Adam Ebbin. Regarding employment protections based on sexual orientaion and gender identity/expression, the commonwealth lags significantly behind the private sector, as many of the top employers in the state, including consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., quasi-governmental mortgage lender Freddie Mac, defense firms Northrop Grumman Corp. and General Dynamics Corp., Capital One Financial Corp., Dominion Resources Inc., Volkswagen Group of America Inc., and computer and data services firms Computer Sciences Corp. and SRA International Inc. have already adopted such policies, according to the Human Rights Campaign's 2013 Corporate Equality Index.