- October 25, 2013
Post submitted by Adam Bradley, HRC Communications Intern
A symbolic measure that would allow the city of Richmond to eventually grant spousal benefits to gay and lesbian employees cleared committee on Thursday, sending it to a full Richmond City Council hearing next week.
The ordinance, introduced by Councilman Parker Agelasto, Councilman Chris Hilbert, and Council President Charles Samuels, would ensure that Richmond could immediately offer same-sex couples spousal benefits should Virginia adopt marriage equality in the future.
With 68% of LGBT youth reporting that they hear negative messages about being LGBT from elected officials, and more than half saying they’ll need to leave their hometown to be happy, these kinds of measures are especially important.
Richmond’s encouraging steps toward LGBT equality come at a crucial time in Virginia. The Republican ticket for November’s election features some of the most anti-LGBT candidates in the state’s history. Ken Cuccinelli and Bishop E.W. Jackson represent the worst of the movement to halt progress on equality.
HRC is proud to endorse Terry McAuliffe for governor, Ralph Northam for Lieutenant Governor, and Mark Herring for attorney general. Each of these candidates has spoken in support of LGBT rights across the state.
To see how municipalities like Richmond are taking LGBT equality into their own hands—and where more work is needed—check out HRC’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI). Richmond received 15 points out of a possible 100 last year and will be reevaluated this year.