VA Gov. Robert McDonnell Strips Gays From State Jobs Protection List
Newly elected Virginia Gov. Rob McDonnell thinks it should be legal to fire someone for being gay and has removed sexual orientation from his state's list of protected classes.
Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell has signed an executive order barring discrimination in the state workforce on grounds that include race, sex, religion and age, but not sexual orientation. The order, which McDonnell (R) signed Feb. 5, cements federal law, which prohibits discrimination on those grounds. It also follows McDonnell's long-standing position on the issue of legal protections based on sexual orientation. McDonnell had criticized his two Democratic predecessors for including language about it in their similar executive orders, arguing they overstepped their executive authority by extending protections to gay employees not envisioned by the General Assembly. "This order is in furtherance of the stated policy enacted by the General Assembly, and specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities," reads the order.McDonnell had campaigned on the promise to not renew his predecessor's executive order banning anti-gay discrimination for state employees.