Lawmakers, gay rights activists say their work is far from over

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — While droves of same sex couples and advocates celebrated the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling Friday, activists were back to work this weekend and this week fighting for more rights.

“You can still be fired in Virginia or not hired if you are gay or transgender, you can be denied housing and you can be denied service at a restaurant or a local business,” said James Parrish with Equality Virginia.

Parrish says they often get calls about people being fired because of their sexual orientation.

“Yes you were fired because you were gay or you were fired because you’re transgender but there’s actually no recourse,” said Parrish.

“There’s no room for discrimination anywhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Sen. Donald McEachin.

McEachin says he will again introduce a bill to include sexual orientation in Virginia’s non discrimination policy. The governor signed an executive order that does the same thing, but only for state employees and only during his term.

“Virginia has to take a stand, either we’re going to be part of the 21st century, or we’re going take a step backwards,” said McEachin.

“If an African American baker does not want to sell a cake for a Klan rally, he should be allowed that option,” said Del. Bob Marshall.

Marshall says he plans on fighting Friday’s ruling and any efforts to include sexual orientation in the state’s non discrimination laws. He says the position discriminates against those with religious beliefs.

“People who follow Moses or Christ, or even the laws of nature, are becoming pariahs, social outcasts,” said Marshall.

Marshall says he will again introduce a measure to prevent those that do not provide services because of their religious beliefs from being punished.

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