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Virginia lawmakers pass protections for LGBTQ people

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia lawmakers have passed comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation that advocates say makes the state the first in the South to enact such protections for LGBTQ people.

The measures advanced on bipartisan votes in both chambers Thursday.

Each chamber still must take up the other’s measure in procedural votes before the legislation can be sent to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam for final approval.

The legislation prohibits discrimination in housing, public or private employment, public spaces and credit transactions on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Opponents have raised concerns about impacts on religious freedom.

Advocates praised the passage of what they called urgently needed landmark human rights legislation.