On March 25, 1975, Alexandria City Council passed one of the first human rights ordinances in Virginia.
The Code, which became effective April 21, 1975, prohibited discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation, credit, health and social services, education and city contracts on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, or physical handicap.
Throughout the years, a number of changes have expanded the reach of the Code. In 1988, the Code was amended to include sexual orientation as a protected class; in 1991, the Code was amended to include fair housing protection for families with children, and the protection for the "physically handicapped" was expanded to cover all disabilities. Amendments to the Code in 1996 prohibited discriminatory practices in commercial real estate. In 2019, the Code was amended to include gender identity and transgender status as protected classes.