BY Julie Bolcer

February 09 2010 8:15 AM ET

The Virginia state senate passed a measure Monday that would protect gay and lesbian state employees from discrimination, marking the first time such a measure has passed either chamber of the Virginia general assembly.

The bill was approved 23-17 by a near party-line vote in the Democratic-controlled senate, according to The Washington Post. It is likely to die in the Republican-controlled house of delegates.

New governor Robert McDonnell, a Republican, has not renewed executive orders from two previous Democratic governors that protected state workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation. He has said that the legislature is the appropriate place to decide the issue.





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