VIRGINIA

Va. Democrats pledge push for gay-friendly laws

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic lawmakers have pledged to try and make gay marriage legal in Virginia.

The legislators, speaking Monday at a news conference, say they also plan to push a slew of bills during the 2014 legislative session to make the commonwealth friendlier to gays.

Those measures include banning workplace discrimination for public sector employees.

Alexandria Sen. Adam Ebbin says business groups support the efforts because it would make Virginia more competitive with its neighbors.

Previous attempts to repeal a ban on gay marriage have failed in the Republican-controlled House.

But Democratic lawmakers say they are hopeful some lawmakers might reconsider their past positions this year.

A spokesman for House Republicans says GOP legislators are disappointed that Democrats would choose to make divisive social issues a centerpiece of their legislative agenda.

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