Each of the past four years, the Virginia Senate has passed adjustments to the commonwealth’s nondiscrimination laws to be inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Virginians; but this year, as in the past, the bills are stuck in the House of Delegates. LGBT people are very aware that, in this state, we can be fired or denied housing simply because of our sexual orientation or gender identity.
As president of “FCPS Pride” (an organization for LGBT people connected with Fairfax County Public Schools, and their family members), I am pleased that Fairfax schools (along with Alexandria, Arlington, Prince William and Manassas City) have declared that they will not discriminate on this basis.
But LGBT students and their family members can still be denied housing and employment outside of the school system. It makes Virginia a less inviting place for businesses, and adds uncertainty to the lives of students whose experience is already difficult enough. It is time for the Virginia General Assembly to bring our commonwealth into the 21st century, and pass these common-sense measures.
Robert Rigby, Jr.
President, FCPS Pride