Metro Weekly

Equality Virginia to host Virginia Values Forum in McLean

Forum will speak to importance of passing LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections in the Old Dominion

James Parrish of Equality Virginia Photo by Todd Franson

James Parrish of Equality Virginia — Photo: Todd Franson / Metro Weekly

Equality Virginia will host an upcoming forum in McLean, Va., on Thursday, Sept. 26 to discuss the state of LGBTQ rights in Virginia and the need for statewide nondiscrimination protections.

Under Virginia law, there are no protections in employment, housing, or public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Lawmakers have attempted to pass bills adding those protections, but all have been stalled in Republican-led House subcommittees each year.

The forum, known as the Virginia Values Forum, will be held at Capital One’s headquarters in McLean, and will feature a panel of transgender individuals who will share their experiences facing discrimination in various aspects of their lives.

Experts will also talk about the importance of nondiscrimination protections in housing, employment, and places of public accommodation.

Those speaking as part of the panel include retired Lt.Col. Ann Murdoch, who served for 24 years in the U.S. Army; Raymond Eck, of George Mason University’s Center for Psychological Services; Bianca Humady Rey, an inclusion and diversity specialist at Kaiser Permanente who also served as chair of Capital Trans Pride; Lawrence Webb, an openly gay school board member for the City of Falls Church; the Rev. Daniel Willson, senior pastor at Williamsburg Baptist Church; Cathryn Oakley, the state legislative director and senior counsel at the Human Rights Campaign; and Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish.

The event is open to the public, and attendance is free, but guests are encouraged to sign up online before attending. For those unable to attend, the event will be livestreamed through online platforms.

The Virginia Values Forum will be held on Thursday, Sept. 26 from 6-8 p.m. at Capital One, 1600 Capital One Dr., McLean, Va. For more information or access to the live stream, visit

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at

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