Gay Virginians can vote with their feet
By Jonathan Mohr
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) and Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) have taken pains to justify excluding sexual orientation and gender identity from state workplace nondiscrimination policies and laws. These positions are just one expression of a troubling legal landscape for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Virginians.
Unlike many groups at increased risk of discrimination and attack, LGBT Virginians are not protected in fair housing and hate-crime laws. Virginia goes further than any state in denying legal recognition to same-sex couples. It also prohibits employers from offering group life insurance to same-sex partners of employees. Virginia allows only heterosexual couples to pursue parenthood through surrogacy.
A lawyer I met neatly summarized the situation: LGBT people should avoid living and working in Virginia. This is easier said than done for many, but LGBT people in the Washington area may increasingly “vote with their feet” as legal disparities between jurisdictions increase. I am a case in point: I just gave notice to my Virginia employer and accepted a position in gay-friendlier Maryland.
| April 2, 2010; 5:49 PM ET
Categories: HotTopic, Va. Politics, Virginia, same-sex marriage
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