VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A newly formed LGBT coalition in Virginia Beach now has the backing of its local Congressman.
Scott Taylor (R) of Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District has announced his backing of Virginia Beach for Fairness, which seeks to protect those in the LGBT community from discrimination by introducing legislation in Richmond.
The group officially launched last week at a press conference at the Oceanfront.
In a press release, the group highlighted some of the Republican Congressman’s efforts to support members of the LGBT community against discrimination, including the introduction of the “Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017.” The law updates the federal Fair Housing Act to protect LGBT members from housing discrimination.
“Standing up against discrimination is only natural and the right thing to do – because I value personal freedom and opportunity for all,” said Taylor in the release. “I’m proud to stand with the Virginia Beach for Fairness coalition as we work together to ensure that all Americans, including those who are gay and transgender, have the opportunity to live their lives free from the fear of discrimination.”
One of the group’s leaders, Virginia Beach native Michael Berlucchi, says Virginia lacks laws that protect people from being fired based on a sexual orientation and gender identity.
Governor Ralph Northam did sign an executive order that prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities in Virginia state government, but the coalition wants that to extend to all workplaces in the Commonwealth — and through laws, not just executive action.
The coalition says it will host its next community meeting on August 1 at 7 p.m. at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library. It’s open to the public. The group says everyone from veterans and business owners to people of faith are part of the coalition.
To learn more about the coalition, click here.