VA Senate OKs Anti-Discrimination Bill


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -

The Senate has passed a measure to prohibit state government from discriminating against employees because of their sexual orientation.

The bill passed out of the Senate on a 24-16 vote Friday. The move was applauded by Equality Virginia, a gay-rights organization. U.S. Sen. and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner also commended the move.

The proposal has won Senate approval in previous years but has never made it through the Republican-controlled House of Delegates.

Previous efforts were sparked by Gov. Bob McDonnell, when he omitted gays from a 2010 executive order banning workplace discrimination. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli later declared that there is no legal ground for protecting gays from discrimination until the General Assembly enacts such a law.

McDonnell later said he would not tolerate any discrimination in state government.

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Special Section: Pride Source Votes
Revealing Bigotry: Taking On Gary Glenn

In a Sept. 27 op-ed in the Detroit News, conservative Republican columnist Nolan Finley raised serious concerns about three Republican candidates running for the state house Nov. 4. Todd Courser of Lapeer, Cindy Gamrat of Plainwell and Gary Glenn of Midland -- all correctly identified by Finley as a "trio (who) seeks tea party tyranny." Nolan describes Glenn and Courser as "extremely anti-gay (who) would turn the Republican Party into a fundamentalist denomination of the Christian Church if given the chance." Finley warned that the trio's narrow views on the Legislature could cripple the government and its ability to work across the aisle to move the state forward. Their agenda also includes killing any expansion of the Elliot-Larsen act to include LGBT protections.

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