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Virginia’s governor bans state from doing business with firms that discriminate against LGBTI people

Virginia’s governor bans state from doing business with firms that discriminate against LGBTI people

Virginia’s governor has signed an executive order banning state contracts with firms that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the order on Thursday (5 January).

It builds on an order McAuliffe signed three years ago banning such discrimination in the state workforce.

McAuliffe said he has taken these actions to ‘take divisive social issue battles off the table and help build an open and welcoming economy.

‘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,’ the governor said in a written statement.

The order applies contracts entered into by the states executive branch which would cover such things as building roads and highways.

But McAuliffe’s order does not cover contracts entered into by the state legislature or the courts.

It is also limited to new contracts that are valued at over $10,000.

House of Delgates Speaker William J. Howell, a Republican, was critical of the order and accused the governor of harming religious liberty ‘by discriminating against individuals, businesses, and faith-based charities that provide critical services to the Commonwealth and its citizens.

‘Instead of focusing on improving Virginia’s declining economic climate, the Governor is choosing to focus on divisive issues that play to his base,’ he said in a statement.