Introduction by the Honorable Betsy B. Carr
Congratulations to all those involved in the creation and launch of Q Virginia magazine. This remarkable publication is poised to play a critical role as a voice for the LGBT community in Virginia and as advocates, allies and liaisons on important issues facing our Commonwealth. As you know, the LGBT community in Virginia and across our country has made great strides towards equality recently. None more so than the June U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that ruled a fundamental right to marry exists under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Like so many across our Commonwealth and the nation, I was thrilled to hear of this decision and joined in the celebration of it. This was a landmark victory for equality and all those who have worked tirelessly to support it. Additionally, in the early part of his administration, Governor Terry McAuliffe issued Executive Order #1, protecting Virginia’s state employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation; I support his effort.
While we have come a long way thus far, there is still more work to do. It is imperative that we continue to support businesses, organizations and legislation at the local, state and federal level that promote true equality. I will continue to support legislation that comes before the General Assembly in any vote that protects and strengthens the LGBT community and aims to create greater equality across all areas of our society. Additionally, we must inform and educate members of our community, particularly our youth, to promote awareness against bullying of members of the LGBT community both inside and outside of our schools and classrooms. As Virginia’s only statewide LGBT publication, Unite Virginia will play an important role in driving the conversation about equality across our Commonwealth into the future.
As Virginia’s economy continues to grow and diversify, it is important for us to make our state welcoming to all who can contribute to its vitality and prosperity with their creativity, intelligence and industry. All members of the LGBT community should have access to all the benefits of our society and our communities in a way that allows them full and absolute participation. It is critical that the Commonwealth of Virginia and its economy are open and welcoming to all people in order to ensure the continuing growth of our economy. I plan to continue to do my part to support legislation that works to guide our Commonwealth towards these goals. I encourage the LGBT community’s continued advocacy across our Commonwealth. Unite Virginia will be a wonderful addition and voice to these continued efforts, I congratulate the publisher and writers on their success.
The Honorable Betsy B. Carr
Member, Virginia House of Delegates