Sen. Warner believes that everyone deserves equal rights under the law: the right to marry who they choose and to live free of discrimination at school and at work. A long time supporter of election security, Sen. Warner has also been a leader in shining a light on online voter suppression tactics designed to spread false information about our elections in communities of color. He is dedicated to ensuring that everyone has equal access to participate in the electoral process.
In 2019, Sen. Warner joined Sen. Tim Kaine and 44 of his other colleagues in the Senate to introduce the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 to build on the landmark Voting Rights Act. This important legislation aims to address barriers to participating in our elections, especially for systematically disenfranchised communities and communities of color, and to provide the federal government with adequate tools to address discriminatory changes to state voting law and procedure.
A longtime supporter of election security measures, Sen. Warner has also brought to light Russian interference in our elections, including Russia’s efforts to specifically target African-American communities to suppress voter turnout. Sen. Warner continues to work tirelessly to ensure that every American has accurate information about elections and the access needed to cast their ballot.
Sen. Warner introduced the Khalid Jabara-Heather Heyer NO HATE Act with several of his Senate colleagues, including Sen. Tim Kaine, in 2019. This act aimed to address the recent surge in hate crimes by improving reporting of these crimes, increasing law enforcement prevention and training on hate crimes, establishing hate crime hotlines to help victims get the assistance they need, and allowing for judges to require community service or education for those who commit hate crimes. When Heather Heyer was killed protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA in 2017, Sen. Warner also pushed President Trump to sign a resolution condemning white supremacy.
Mark Warner was the first Governor of Virginia to ban sexual orientation discrimination for state employees. He understands that in order to meet our potential, we must draw upon the talents and experiences of everyone. He also led the effort to end the discriminatory “family rule” that prevented same-sex couples from receiving home buying assistance from the state government.
In 2017, Sen. Warner joined colleagues from the Senate and House of Representatives to file a U.S. Supreme Court brief explaining that transgender and gender non-conforming students are protected from discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX prohibits discrimination “on the basis of sex,” which should include prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Sen. Warner will always stand up for the protection of every Virginian.
As Senator, Warner voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and is a strong supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Equality Act. He knows that prohibiting discrimination is both the right thing to do and vital to economic competitiveness. For Virginia to continue to be a leader in business and innovation, we must do everything we can to ensure the rights of all Virginians are protected.
As Governor, Sen. Warner opposed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Virginia. As Senator, he supported the effort at the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. Sen. Warner supports the Equality Act and recognizes the need for strong protections to secure full equality for all under the law.