Va. Governor Backtracks, Forbids Gay Discrimination

GOP's McDonnell had eliminated clause
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2010 7:35 PM CST

(Newser) – Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell today stepped back from his move that excised discrimination protection for homosexuals from rules on state hiring practice, issuing an executive directive that bias against gays is strictly forbidden in the workplace. McDonnell and state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, a fellow Republican, contend that only the state legislature can set such policy; though today’s action doesn’t make anti-discrimination law, McDonnell says such bias is nevertheless against the Virginia and US constitutions.

However, Marc Ambinder notes, “the executive order—which carries more force—still doesn't include sexual orientation, but McDonnell’s directive instructs the state to treat it as if it did.” The move also included instructions that state colleges adopt anti-bias policies, which looks to the Atlantic blogger to be a “direct repudiation” of Cuccinelli’s order last week that schools strike such language from their books.

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