This morning, the Washington Post reported on the latest outrage by Virginia Republicans. One day it’s global warming denial, another day it’s tearing up the social safety net for our most vulnerable citizens, and another day it’s rejecting federal money for unemployment benefits for Virginia citizens. Well, today, it’s Republicans attempting to turn Virginia into Uganda on anti-gay discrimination. According to the Washington Post:
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II has asked the state's public colleges and universities to rescind policies that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, arguing in a letter sent to each school Thursday that their boards of visitors have no legal authority to adopt such statements.
That’s right, Virginia’s Attorney General is actually trying to make it easier for people to discriminate against gays and lesbians in Virginia. This, despite the fact that the entire country is moving towards granting our GLBT fellow citizens equal rights with everyone else in all areas. Unfortunately, here in Virginia, we appear to be moving in the opposite direction, after years of progress under Democratic governors like Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.
Not surprisingly, the reaction to Ken Cuccinelli’s move has not been positive, with former Republican Delegate Vincent Callahan calling it “reprehensible.” State Senator Donald McEachin (D-Richmond) added, "It certainly appears as though the Governor and his attorney general may be living [Bob McDonnell’s Regent University] thesis."
Today, I add my voice to the growing chorus of disapproval and outrage at Ken Cuccinelli’s reprehensible position. Although I am running for federal office, I am first and foremost a proud Virginian, and discrimination at the highest levels of my state’s government is not something I can or will tolerate. I strongly condemn the ever increasing message of intolerance coming from the Republican leadership in Richmond. I encourage them to reconsider their recent actions that have not only harmed our fellow Virginians but also tarnished our beloved Commonwealth’s image.