Invoice To Make Virginia AG’s Workplace of Civil Rights Everlasting Headed to Governor’s Desk

RICHMOND (February 22, 2021) – A landmark bill on civil rights by Attorney General Mark R. Herring and majority chairman Charniele Herring to make the Office of Civil Rights an integral part of the Office of the Attorney General is on the desk of the Governor sent signed the bill after the Senate passed it this afternoon with both party support. The legislation is a 7 day bill, which means it must be signed by Governor Northam within seven days of receipt.

Attorney General Herring created the Civil Rights Office to expand, enhance, and centralize its ongoing work to secure and expand the civil rights of Virginians, and to protect all Virginians from discrimination based on race, religion, gender / gender identity, and sexual orientation, disability , Veteran status or other protected status. The appointment of the Office of Civil Rights was the culmination of a multi-year plan to expand the powers and resources to protect the civil rights of Virgins and to place the protection of civil rights at the heart of the Attorney General’s mission.

“The Senate’s passage of this landmark civil rights legislation marks another step in the Commonwealth’s journey to justice, equality and equal opportunities for all Virginians. Every single person who calls Virginia at home has the right to live here free from fear of being discriminated against, or denying an opportunity because of who they are, who they love or how they worship, “Attorney General said Herring. “During my tenure, I have worked tirelessly to protect, expand, and defend Virginian’s civil rights, and the creation of the Civil Rights Office has really been a way to enhance and centralize this ongoing work. For too long my predecessors used the attorney general’s office to restrict the civil rights of the Virginians, but with that legislation, that office is now codified in the State Code and will be an integral part of that office. I would like to thank Majority Leader Charniele Herring for her leadership role in promoting this historic law and for her commitment to getting it passed in both chambers. “

“Virginians should never have to worry that their civil rights are not being protected, and they should be proud to know that when the attorney general’s office is now an integral part of the mission,” said Majority Leader Herring. “Virginia has come a long way since the attorney general fought hard to tell us who to marry or not, or to keep people like me out of our public schools. When Attorney General Herring started the Civil Rights Bureau, he showed how committed he was to justice, and with this legislation that commitment is now an integral part of the Attorney General’s office. “

HB2147 makes Attorney General Herring’s Civil Rights Office an integral part of the Attorney General’s office. It is said that the Civil Rights Office will exist to “investigate discrimination and take action to combat discrimination” based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, pregnancy, birth or related illnesses, age, sexual orientation , Gender identity, disability, marital status, marital status or veteran status and will carry out the updated Commonwealth Declaration on the Civil and Human Rights of All Virginians.

The revised Commonwealth Policy on Civil and Human Rights states:

“It is the policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide equal opportunities for all citizens throughout the Commonwealth, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, pregnancy, birth or related illnesses, age, sexual orientation and gender identity, disability, Marital, marital or veteran status and, to that end, the prohibition of discriminatory practices in relation to employment, public housing, including educational institutions, and real estate transactions of any person or group of people, including state and local law enforcement agencies, so as to promote peace, health, safety, prosperity and the general welfare of all residents of the Commonwealth are protected and assured. “

The Civil Rights Office is committed to expanding and protecting the civil rights of Virginians in a number of ways, including:

  • Carrying out sample or practice examinations to identify and eliminate unconstitutional and illegal police work
  • Combating LGBTQ and gender discrimination
  • Combating Housing Discrimination
  • Combating discrimination in the workplace
  • Combating discrimination in public accommodation
  • Protecting the rights of expectant and new mothers

The office was established to centralize and enhance Attorney General Herring’s work in securing, defending and expanding the rights of the Virginians, including:

Under the leadership of Attorney General Herring, the Civil Rights Office has grown to thirteen employees, including seven lawyers, after inheriting an office with just four employees and only one lawyer when he first took office in 2014.

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