The media is not reporting this. It has reported only on the fact that the VVA will add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to state discrimination laws.
But the legislation changes Virginia’s discrimination law as a whole, for discrimination cases of all kinds — not just discrimination against gay and transgender people. For example, it provides for unlimited punitive and compensatory damage awards against companies that lose any type of discrimination lawsuit. It also expands state employees’ ability to sue the state of Virginia for money, which will come at a cost to taxpayers.
Yet, the Senate bill containing the Virginia Values Act, SB 868, claimed it has no cost. That’s blatantly false. The bill’s Impact statement describes its “Fiscal Impact” as “None” and says the VVA “presents no fiscal impact to Executive branch agencies.” That is not accurate. The lawsuits authorized by the VVA are very costly.