In an effort to combat discrimination in Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an Executive Order that requires all state contractors with the Executive Branch to agree to a non-discrimination policy.
"Starting today, the Commonwealth of Virginia will not do business with entities that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity," the governor said in a news release on Thursday. "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."
McAuliffe says this order builds on his very first Executive Order and extends "the same protections offered to state employees to the employees of contractors that do business with the Commonwealth."
McAuliffe's order comes after Del. Bob Marshall proposed the "Physical Privacy Act" that states "no individual shall enter a restroom or other facility designed for use by members of the opposite sex."
The law would apply to government entities and hold them responsible if the law is broken.
The bill, which will be taken up as the General Assembly starts its session next week, would include public schools and require the principal to notify a parent or guardian within 24 hours if a student "requests to be recognized or treated as the opposite sex, to use a name or pronoun inconsistent with the child's sex, or to use a restroom or other facility designated for the opposite sex."
Attorney General Mark Herring applauded McAuliffe's Executive Order.
"If we are going to have the economic future we want, we have to send a clear and inclusive message about what and whom we value, and the kind of respect and opportunities that talented people will find in Virginia," said Herring.
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