RICHMOND, Virginia (WRIC) – The Virginia House of Representatives passed law on Monday to establish the Civil Rights Office as an integral part of the attorney general.
Attorney General Mark Herring established the office in January to prioritize work to secure and expand civil rights. According to Hering’s office, these efforts include protecting Virginians from discrimination based on race, religion, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status.
AG Herring Opens New Civil Rights Office to Investigate Discrimination Claims in Virginia
“This is a great moment in Virginia’s long and ongoing journey to fulfill the promise of equality for all. Every Virginian has the right to live free from discrimination and free from the fear that they will be denied an opportunity or treated differently because they are who they look, who they adore or who they love, ”Herring told the publication on Tuesday Posted.
After the office was set up, Herring worked with Charniele Herring, chairman of the House majority, to introduce a bill that would make the office part of the efforts of every Herings attorney general.
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“By making this office an integral part of the OAG, we are showing the Virgins that we have turned the past when attorneys general either ignored or actually opposed the civil rights of the people they were supposed to serve,” Herring said.
One of Hering’s opponents in the upcoming Attorney General election, Del. Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) suggested the creation of a similar department back in November. 8News learned more about Jones’ response to the establishment of Hering’s office.
The vote to pass the law was close with 49 votes in favor and 46 against. It could not previously be passed on January 29th.