News (USA)

Virginia Senate panel rejects bill to protect gays from hiring discrimination

RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia state Senate committee on Monday rejected a bill to add sexual orientation to list of classes protected from discrimination in state hiring.

In a 8-7 vote, the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee rejected Alexandria, Va. Democratic Sen. Adam Ebbin’s bill — S.B. 263,

The legislation had garnered the support of Virginia’s labor unions, educator and public-employee associations, and the AARP, senior citizen’s lobby group.

Members of anti-gay groups Family Foundation and the Virginia Association of Independent Baptists testified that the bill was unnecessary because there is no proof that gays are discriminated against.

A similar piece of legislation was passed by the state’s Senate last year — then led by a Democratic majority, only to be defeated in the Republican-led House of Delegates.

Republicans gained control of the Senate in the November 2011 election.

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