Starting the week after Capital Pride, Equality Virginia is hosting a series of events in Prince William County, in what is being billed as: “PWC Proud: Bringing Equality to Bob Marshall’s Backyard.”
Referring to the infamous anti-LGBTQ Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas), the week of events intends to highlight the importance of LGBTQ equality and advocate for an expansion of protections for members of the community.
Beginning on Saturday, June 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Equality Virginia will be visiting local businesses in Prince William County, in an effort to sign them up for Virginia’s Equality Means Business program. As part of the program, local businesses attest that they have adopted an LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination policy with respect to hiring, and pledge not to discriminate against prospective customers or clients based on their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
Equality Virginia staffers will visit stores in downtown Manassas as they attempt to grow the ranks of small businesses who have pledged their support for and implemented nondiscrimination measures. Afterwards, the organization will hold a celebration at Bad Wolf Public House, at 9406 Battle St. in Manassas.
“The continued success of Equality Means Business in Prince William County shows that despite the continued anti-LGBT leadership of many of the county’s representatives in the House of Delegates, the county’s residents and businesses support their gay and transgender neighbors,” James Parrish, the executive director of Equality Virginia, said in a statement.
Two days later, on Monday, June 19, the Manassas City Council is expected to issue an official proclamation recognizing June as LGBT Pride Month and honoring members of the LGBTQ community for their contributions. Equality Virginia invites community members to wear purple at while attending the event, which will take place between 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the City Council chambers. Following the proclamation, the organization will host another celebration at Bad Wolf Public House.
Finally, on Wednesday, June 21, at 5:30 p.m., Equality Virginia will have representatives on hand when the Prince William County School Board is expected to vote on whether to expand its nondiscrimination policy to include LGBTQ students and staff. Supporters of LGBTQ equality are asked to wear purple as a sign of support during the meeting.
“Equality Virginia urges Prince William County School Board Members to vote to amend their school system’s nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity to protect LGBT students and employees in Prince William County Public Schools from facing discrimination,” Parrish said.
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