sexual orientation

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Supreme Court has dealt a blow to a bid to overturn protections for gay and transgender students at a northern Virginia school district.

Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition, and a student filed a lawsuit after the Fairfax County School Board voted to add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to its non-discrimination policy. They argued that the policy is unlawful because such protections aren't included in state law.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Norfolk City Council has passed measures prohibiting discrimination in city hiring or contracting based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Virginian Pilot reports  the ordinances adding protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people were approved in two 8-0 votes Tuesday night.

The city already had measures prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, disability or national origin.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says a landmark lawsuit alleging sex discrimination based on sexual orientation has been settled for more than $200,000.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate is poised to vote on a proposed equal protection amendment to Delaware's constitution.

The amendment to be voted on Tuesday says equal protection under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of race, sex, age, religion, creed, color, familial status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is issuing statewide guidelines to prevent discriminatory profiling by law enforcement based on race, gender and other characteristics.

Frosh has scheduled a Tuesday news conference about the initiative. He says the guidelines are similar to ones issued in December by the U.S. Justice Department, which called on states to adopt their own. Frosh says Maryland is the first state to issue its own guidance.

He says it goes further than current Maryland law, but departments would have to adopt the policies.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Thanks to a tie-breaking vote by Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Republican-controlled Virginia Senate has passed a bill prohibiting discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

It was the first tie-breaking vote of the 2015 legislative session by Northam, a Democrat.

Two Republicans, Sens. Jill Holtzman Vogel of Fauquier County and John Watkins of Powhatan County, joined minority Democrats in support of the bill, resulting in a 19-19 tie.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia Senate committee voted Monday to prohibit discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The measure proposed by Sen. Donald McEachin, a Henrico County Democrat, was approved by the Republican-controlled General Laws and Technology Committee on an 8-7 vote. Republican Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel of Fauquier County joined minority Democrats in support of the bill.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A bill to add sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes is dead in Virginia.

The Republican-controlled Senate Courts of Justice Committee killed the measure Wednesday at the state Capitol on a 7-7 vote.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Barbara Favola, an Arlington County Democrat. It would have added sexual orientation and gender identification to an existing state law requiring that hate crimes be reported to the State Police. The current law is limited to race, religion and ethnic origin.

Don Rush

A meeting of the Indian River School board this week saw a number of residents get up to speak out about remarks by board member Shaun Fink who is opposed to teaching about sexual orientation.

During the session on Monday Cole Haden, a senior at Sussex Central, told the board that Fink's remarks allowed him to stand up for equality for gays, lesbians and transgenders as well as for fairness and tolerance.

He was only one of 10 people who spoke at the meeting where around 100 people were in attendance.

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There will be no reading list this summer for in-coming high school students in the Cape Henlopen school district.

Earlier this month the board dropped from its summer reading list “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” about a teenager who discovers she is gay.

Last night on a 6-to-1 vote last night the board decided to return to the district previous practice.

That requires college preparatory students to read one book for the summer and honors students two books.

Only Noble Prettyman voted against the motion.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has passed a bill to prevent discrimination against people who are transgender.

The Senate voted 32-15 on Tuesday for the measure.

It aims to stop discrimination on matters relating to housing, employment, credit and use of public accommodations such as hotels and restaurants.

There were 31 Democrats who voted for the bill and one Republican. There were 11 Republicans who opposed the bill, and four Democrats.

The measure now goes to the House of Delegates

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Judy Shepard, mother of Mathew Shephard, who was murdered in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998 because of his sexual orientation will be coming to the campus of Salisbury University tomorrow night.

Her book, entitled: “The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed” is the subject of this semester’s New Student reader program at the University.

October 15th will mark the 15th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death which sparked a national outcry calling for crimes motivated by sexual orientation become a hate crime.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has approved a bill to protect transgender people in Delaware by outlawing discrimination based on gender identity.

The bill was approved on an 11-7 vote Thursday. It now goes to the House.

The legislation adds gender identity to the existing list of protected nondiscrimination categories, including race, age and sexual orientation.

It also allows for enhanced penalties under Delaware's hate crimes law for targeting someone based on his or her gender identity.