Last edited: April 18, 2004

City Urges Richmond to End Same-Sex Discrimination

Falls Church News-Press, January 8, 2004
929 West Broad Street #200, Falls Church, VA 22046
Fax: 703-532-3396

By Nicholas F. Benton

The Falls Church City Council will urge the Virginia legislature to decriminalize all non-commercial sexual relationships between consenting adults and to add the phrase, “sexual orientation,” to the state’s hate crimes statute as part of a 10-page “legislative package” it is slated to forward to Richmond next week.

In a section on “civil rights and personal freedom,” the draft package reviewed by the Council at its work session this Monday says, “The City of Falls Church supports legislation that protects ands expands civil rights and personal freedoms, and opposes any legislation that is aimed at curtailing or diminishing those rights.”

Richmond is expected to deal with proposed legislation attempting to circumvent last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court mandate overturning anti-sodomy laws, as well as attempts to react against Massachusetts’ gay marriage decision by establishing that unions certified in Massachusetts will not have standing in Virginia.

The Falls Church Council also advocates prohibiting employers from using genetic information for employment-related purposes and calls for protecting the rights of immigrant populations.

Falls Church citizens are also invited to make their own requests of their legislative representatives in Richmond at a town meeting set for Saturday, Jan. 17, at 1 p.m. in the Council chambers of City Hall, 300 Park Avenue. Both State Senator Mary Margaret Whipple and State Delegate Jim Scott will be present to hear from the public.

Then, on Thursday, Feb. 12, members of the Falls Church City Council are scheduled to visit Richmond for a “legislative day” sponsored by the Virginia Municipal League and the Virginia Association of Counties to forward the City’s issues.

Sen. Whipple, Del. Scott and State Delegate Bob Hull will continue to report back to the Falls Church public through their rotating weekly columns in the News-Press. . . . [The rest is about other topics.]

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