Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 9. General Powers of Local Governments

§ 15.2-965. Human rights ordinances and commissions.

A. Any locality may enact an ordinance, not inconsistent with nor more stringent than any applicable state law, prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, credit, and education on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, military status, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

B. The locality may enact an ordinance establishing a local commission on human rights that shall have the powers and duties granted by the Virginia Human Rights Act (§ 2.2-3900 et seq.).

C. As used in this section:

"Gender identity" means the gender-related identity, appearance, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, without regard to the individual's designated sex at birth.

"Military status" means status as (i) a member of the uniformed forces, as defined in 10 U.S.C. § 101(a)(5), of the United States or a reserve component thereof named under 10 U.S.C. § 10101, (ii) a veteran as defined in 38 U.S.C. § 101(2), or (iii) a dependent as defined in 50 U.S.C. § 3911(4) except that the support provided by the service member to the individual shall have been provided 180 days immediately preceding an alleged action that if proven true would constitute unlawful discrimination under this section instead of 180 days immediately preceding an application for relief under 50 U.S.C. Chapter 50.

"Religion" includes any outward expression of religious faith, including adherence to religious dressing and grooming practices and the carrying or display of religious items or symbols.

"Sexual orientation" means a person's actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality.

1987, c. 569, § 15.1-37.3:8; 1997, cc. 404, 587; 2020, cc. 131, 1137, 1140; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 477, 478; 2022, c. 799.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.