Gays and lesbians will not be protected from discrimination when applying for state jobs in Virginia.
The House General Laws subcommittee voted yesterday to kill a bill that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The vote came despite pleas from current and former state employees who told legislators of their fears that they’d be fired if their bosses found out they were gay.
“I always felt intimidated,” said John Poarch, who worked as a state employee for 25 years. “I felt suppressed.”
Republican Delegate Charles Carrico compared the debate to his being discriminated against because of his southern drawl. “What prohibits us from saying that if I’m a southwest Virginian and I talk slow that I couldn’t be discriminated against?” he said.
Supporters of the same-sex discrimination bill told Carrico that they’d support a measure that would prohibit discrimination based upon his accent.