Virginia is poised to become the first Southern state to prohibit discrimination based on a person's "sexual orientation" or "gender identity." The Virginia Values Act ("VVA") was passed by the General Assembly on February 26, 2020 and is expected to be signed by Governor Ralph Northam. The bill will have a significant impact on the law governing discrimination in employment, public accommodations, housing, banking, and education, and it creates a new cause of action for unlawful discrimination in public accommodations.
The VVA will amend several existing statutes to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. "Sexual orientation" is defined as "a person's actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality," while "gender identity" means "the gender‑related identity, appearance, or other gender‑related characteristics of an individual, with or without regard to the individual's designated sex at birth."Read More