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Virginia LGBT Employees Lack Statewide Protections against Ongoing Employment Discrimination

By The Williams Institute - 2015-01-29 - Updated: 2017-02-28


LGBT workers in Virginia are vulnerable to employment discrimination absent explicit statewide legal protections, according to a new report.

"Census data show that in Virginia, the median income of men in same-sex couples is 10% lower than the median income of men in different sex marriages"

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Currently, three localities in Virginia have ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in public and private sector employment, but approximately 94% of Virginia’s workforce is not covered by these laws.

“A statewide law prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity would bring new protections to thousands of workers without burdening courts and agencies,” Mallory said. “Most likely, the cost of handling complaints filed under the law could be absorbed into the existing enforcement system with no need for additional staff or resources.”

Key findings from the report include:

Findings from the Virginia report are consistent with national data.

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The original rainbow flag, called the Freedom Flag, was devised by Gilbert Baker in 1978. The design has undergone several revisions since its debut with 8 colored stripes, and today the most common variant consists of 6 stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.

Original rainbow flag showing meaning of the 8 colors.
Picture of Gilbert Baker's original Freedom Flag showing the meaning of the 8 colors.

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