Virginia’s attorney general issues opinion on sex discrimination laws

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia’s attorney general says violations of federal sex-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation or gender identity also are violations of state law.

Democrat Mark Herring issued that opinion Tuesday in response to requests by three state lawmakers. It comes as governing bodies and courts grapple with a flurry of high-profile cases involving the rights of transgender people.

Herring says any violation of federal anti-discrimination law also violates the Virginia Human Rights Act. Other state anti-discrimination laws are less explicit, but Herring says Virginia courts likely would rely on federal case law in determining whether they apply to violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Attorney general opinions are advisory only and do not set any legal precedent.

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