Virginia’s governor approved protections for the gay community Thursday ahead of a proposed ban against transgenders using the bathroom of their choice.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, signed an executive order that prohibits state employees, contractors and subcontractors from discrimination against people based on their gender identity and sexual orientation, reports Newsplex.
“Starting today, the commonwealth of Virginia will not do business with entities that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” McAuliffe said in a statement.
McAuliffe said he passed the bill after hearing about incidents of alleged discrimination from various constituents and business people.
“Virginia is home to the best state workforce in the country and this policy will ensure there is no question that all Virginians are to receive the full benefits of their citizenship, without regard to their sexual orientation or gender identity,” he continued in his statement.
McAuliffe’s executive order comes as Republican Del. Bob Marshall introduced a transgender bathroom bill Tuesday. Marshall’s Physical Privacy Act seeks to prevent transgenders from using the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity in government-owned buildings. (RELATED: Civil Rights Groups Gear Up To Fight Virginia Bathroom Bill)
“Some guys will use anything to make a move on some teenage girls or women,” Marshall said of his bill. “Mere separation of the sexes should not be considered discrimination.”
Virginia is not the only state considering a transgender bathroom bill. Texas has its own bathroom bill in the works called the “Women’s Privacy Act.” The Texas measure would also prohibit transgenders from using the bathroom according to their gender identity.
Lt. Gov Dan Patrick described the act as a way to protect women in bathrooms.
“But, if laws are passed by cities and counties and school districts allow men to go into a bathroom because of the way they feel, we will not be able to stop sexual predators from taking advantage of that law, like sexual predators take advantage of the internet,” Patrick said in defense of the bill.
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