Gov. McAuliffe signs executive order to combat discrimination in Virginia

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Governor McAuliffe issued an executive order on Thursday in hopes of combating discrimination in Virginia.

Executive Order 61 aims to advance equality in Virginia by requiring all future state contractors with the Executive Branch to agree to a non-discrimination policy.

The policy includes discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This action builds on Executive Order Number 1 by extending the same protections offered to state employees to the employees of contractors that do business with the Commonwealth.

“As my first act as Governor, I signed Executive Order 1 to ban discrimination in the state workforce based on sexual orientation, take divisive social issue battles off the table and help build an open and welcoming economy,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at Thursday’s announcement.

“Starting today, the Commonwealth of Virginia will not do business with entities that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 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 added.

Attorney General Mark Herring said  we have to send an inclusive message about our values, and the kind of respect people will find in Virginia in order to secure the economic future Virginia wants.

“Thanks to Governor McAuliffe, Virginia will be setting the right example and embracing a commonsense step that so many private sector businesses have already taken, and that they increasingly expect from the states in which they choose to locate and do business,” Herring said.