Combating Hate Against LGBTQ+ Communities, Protecting Students, Improving Access to Care & Housing Stability
As the next governor of Virginia, Terry will build on the progress he and Democrats have made over the past eight years to uplift and prioritize the LGBTQ+ community. Terry will address inequities and disparities that LGBTQ+ people, particularly people of color, experience by improving data collection and leveraging data to better direct resources to meet their unique needs. He will pass an anti-bullying law to protect students, prohibit foster care and adoption agencies from discriminating against LGBTQ+ people, and expand access to culturally competent and inclusive health and mental health care. Terry will also address housing stability by leveraging federal housing dollars and working to establish safe and inclusive shelters.
Terry was the first southern candidate for governor to run on a pro-LGBTQ+ equality platform, and his first action as Virginia’s 72nd Governor was signing an executive order prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ+ state employees. As governor, he vetoed every anti-LGBTQ+ bill and was the first Virginia governor to declare June as Pride month, to annually attend the LGBTQ+ PrideFest, and to launch an LGBT Tourism Task Force, which ultimately rebranded “Virginia is for Lovers’’ to focus on inclusivity. Terry became the first southern governor to officiate a gay wedding and directed all state agencies to comply with the Virginia Supreme Court ruling that legally recognized same-sex marriage.
The Work Ahead
- Leverage data collection to better support LGBTQ+ communities and effectively direct resources to end disparities.
- Improve identification and enforcement of hate crimes.
- Repeal Virginia’s “conscience clause” to open up foster care and adoption to LGBTQ+ people, and pass an anti-bullying law to protect LGBTQ+ youth.
- Address housing instability with permanent supportive housing and invest in inclusive shelters that meet the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.
- Require health care and public safety professionals to receive cultural competency training and establish a statewide social determinants of health coordinator.