F.C. Council Passes LGBTQ, Gender Protections

ADVOCATING FOR THE PASSAGE of a new Falls Church City ordinance redefining outlawing discriminaton based on “sex” to include sexual orientation and gender identity was Patrick Cochran (right), chair of the LGBTQ Caucus of the Young Democrats of Virginia, shown grinning with his partner Chris Munden, in the Council chambers just after the unimous 6-0 vote by the Council to adopt the measure. (Photo: News-Press)

The City of Falls Church’s City Council, by a unanimous 6-0 vote, approved a measure Monday night that outlaws discrimination based on “sexual orientation, gender identity or transgender status.”

The move was in the form of an attachment to existing anti-discrimination laws based on “sex” in hiring, employment and housing policy by extending the definition of “sex,” thereby extending the anti-discrimination policy in a way that does not run afoul of current Virginia state law. The measure was sponsored by Council member Phil Duncan at the initiative of Patrick Cochran, chair of the LGBTQ Caucus of the Young Democrats of Virginia, who was present with his partner Chris Munden, to speak in support of the second and final reading of the ordinance Monday night. The law goes into effect within 10 days of its passage.

State Sen. Dick Saslaw commented on the move, saying, “I commend the City of Falls Church on its historic, unanimous vote to ban housing discrimination against LGBT residents. I’m proud of the Falls Church City Council and the Virginia Young Democrats—and especially City Councilman Phil Duncan and VAYD LGBTQIA Chair Patrick Cochran—for their tireless efforts to make this important measure a reality.”