VIRGINIA: Senate Panel Rejects Bill To Protect Gays From Hiring Discrimination
By a narrow vote of 8-7, yesterday the Virginia state Senate General Laws Committee rejected a bill to add sexual orientation to list of classes protected from discrimination in state hiring. Anti-gay groups testified that the bill was unneeded because there is no proof that gays are discriminated against.
A similar measure was passed by the Senate last year when it had a Democratic majority, only to be defeated in the Republican-led House of Delegates. Republicans won effective control of the Senate in the November election. Abbin, D-Alexandria, had the support of labor unions, teacher and public-employee associations, and AARP, the over-50 lobby group. The socially conservative Family Foundation and the Virginia Association of Independent Baptists opposed the measure.