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Virginia House votes against consideration of gay protections bill

A Northern Virginia delegate unsuccessfully tried a parliamentary maneuver Tuesday to force a floor vote on a measure that would ban discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation. The House has repeatedly rejected such legislation and voted against floor consideration of the bill 55 to 42.

Del. Ken Plum, a Democrat from Reston, moved to revive the gay-rights bill that had languished in a House subcommittee, saying the legislature must respond to Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's recent advice to the state's public colleges and universities that they had no legal ability to add sexual orientation to their nondiscrimination policies. Cuccinelli has recommended that such statements be rescinded.

"It's particularly timely at this time because the eyes of the nation are upon us," Plum said.

Del. David Englin (D-Alexandria) also rose to address the House, recalling his parents and grandparents' stories of anti-Semitic discrimination by employers. Englin said the state must act to protect Virginia's reputation as a desirable place to do business because some companies might see the state as intolerant.

"Let there be no mistake - Ken Cuccinelli wants to hang a sign in front of the public colleges and universities of this Commonwealth that reads 'Gays need not apply,'" Englin said.

But Del. Robert Marshall, (R-Prince William) argued that gay people needed no "special protections" and said that the term "sexual orientation" was so broad that it would protect behaviors that could not be discussed in public.

Marshall's motion passed, 53 to 42, burying the gay rights measure.
The bill Plum attempted to revive was SB66, sponsored by Sen. Donald McEachin. It was tabled in the House Committee on General Laws.

The bill defines "sexual orientation" as "a person's actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, or gender identity or expression" and expressly excludes any attraction toward persons with whom sexual conduct would be illegal due to age of the people involved.

Cuccinelli has written to state colleges and universities that they lack the authority to enact policies banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Richmond Times Dispatch reports today that 250 people attended the first of four forums sponsored by the administration at Virginia Commonwealth University this morning to discuss the issue.

By Fredrick Kunkle and Rosalind S. Helderman  |  March 9, 2010; 1:59 PM ET
Categories:  Fredrick Kunkle , Ken Cuccinelli  
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In the words of Thomas jefferson (who founded UVA): "An equal application of law to every condition of man is fundamental." --Thomas Jefferson to George Hay, 1807. ME 11:341 and
"What is true of every member of the society, individually, is true of them all collectively; since the rights of the whole can be no more than the sum of the rights of the individuals." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1789. ME 7:455, Papers 15:393

Perhaps Cuccinelli is not familiar with "ancient" American history and feels compelled to write his own version.

His pandering to the Tea Baggers is deplorable as is his ultra-conservative belief system. As attorney general, he has an obligation to uphold the law in an objective, rational, legal manner; not tear it down based on his personal opinion or current whim/fancy. All Virginians should be outraged by this miscreant public official...when corporations stop booking conventions in Virginia, then the ax will fall on Cuccinelli and his ilk.

Posted by: politico5 | March 9, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Of course they did. This is a dog bites man story. Virginia is one of the most homophobic states in the country and with slime like Cuccinelli and McDonnell in charge of the state's legal affairs, that won't change for a loooong time.

Posted by: novatom1 | March 9, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks politico5.

Posted by: bbirdy202 | March 9, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Cuccinelli's just following his playbook - bash gays, do something in support of the "unborn", propose something to punish those who desecrate the flag, mandate the pledge of allegiance at some public forum or event, support "home schooling", mandate equal teaching of creationism, etc...with a fundraising letter to his base following each "initiative."

Just 1,408 days left to go before he goes

Posted by: VirginiaResident2007 | March 9, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Hooray for the house upholding Cuccinelli's 'pinion. That settles that.

Posted by: 0460 | March 9, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Having quoted Del. Marshall on the bill's definition of sexual orientation, the article might have mentioned that SB66 does restrict its meaning to exclude "any person's attraction toward persons with whom sexual conduct would be illegal due to the age of the parties" (

The AG's letter is obviously intended to signal far and wide that the new administration has issued carte blanche to anti-gay bigotry in the Old Dominion.

Posted by: Lawrence11 | March 9, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Cuccinelli also has it out for WOMEN especially divorced women who have fled a home filled with DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. If she is smart and can support herself, working outside the home, Heaven Help Her! His first OFFENSE as AG of VA occurred in a Fairfax County Juvenile Court Room on January 26, 2010 (see articles in Wash Post) where he violated Virginia Code and Ethics to help long time political friend and Gay Basher, Ron Grignol take his daughters away from their mother and put them living primarily in the home with him who abused his wife, broke his marriage vows and continues to BULLY her even after 9 years of divorce (and remarriage to another woman). What sort of a man is serving as AG in VA who associates so closely with such people? Grignol poses as the victim serving as a Father's Right's Activst speaking out to overturn VAWA legislation. Strange, Ron Grignol ran against Mark Sickles(D) for the Deligate Race in VA accusing him of being a HOMOSEXUAL and bashing him for his "unmarried" lifestyle. Grignol who has no shame and is literally a pathalogical liar to continues to BULLY his ex-wife and is now taking her to the cleaners (even after being a DEAD BEAT DAD FOR YEARS) thanks to Ken Cuccinelli's Pro-Bono, Illegal, Unethical work while serving as AG of VA. Doesn't the AG have real work to do other than hurting and hating people?

Posted by: SeekingJustice1 | March 9, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I figured I was living in a Nazi state. Is there any room on that Virginia flag for a swastika?

Ever since I saw my co-worker leave for Seattle because Seattle is better for lesbian couples. A woman friend tried to make it funny, said I tried to say we make better coffee.... We knew why she was leaving and it was not funny. Some places are gay-friendlier than others.

She could have been Jewish, it could have been the 1930s in Germany, I could have been German.

Either way the Nazis were in power.

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | March 9, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

They're better off in Canada/British Columbia, just a short distance away. Pure gay marriage.

Usually the rest of the industrialized, democratic world can tell you how your domestic and foreign politics are. America's politics sucks and gay policies are just the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | March 9, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

What?? Bashing him for his UNMARRIED lifestyle? Accusing him of being homosexual?

So it ain't good enough NOT to be gay? You gotta be married too? Rush this way folks. Chapel is over here.

Now where does that leave the morbidly obese? Usually we end up marrying each other... I think for lack of other options. Or does Fat Albert get a break from being called gay?

You know if marriage was easy we would have been married a looonnnnngggg time ago.
At least by 30.

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | March 9, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

P.S. I am 39 (all but 40). I seem to be noticed by one woman, finally. If that holds true for two more years, maybe, just maybe, I am marriage material (my close friends think so). So far at four months I know what I would be dealing with in general terms if I was married to her, and it is complicated. But it is refreshing to deal with a real female human being versus say, a daydream that can be anything you want it to be. Thank God for reality. I'd rather have reality for better or worse.


It seems much easier for our friends to be first married by an average age of 25 to 30. Of course the same people are considerably lower in body mass index. And when I observe men and women together, the BMI is again much lower, sometimes seeming not to even qualify as obese.

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | March 9, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

The best way to avoid discrimination and hostile workplaces is by doing research about potential bosses on sites like eBossWatch.

Posted by: patjenks | March 10, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

So how is he breaking the law? It seems that he is upholding it and agrees with two other former AG's who held the same opinion. Just because you don't like the law doesn't mean he isn't doing his job well.

These comments are exactly why the gay lobby is losing the battle over gay rights. Whenever you don't get your way you start accusing the other side of homophobia, nazism, facism, reinstituting Jim Crow laws, reinstituting slavery, and other equally asinine arguments.

Do you ever wonder why gay marriage has NEVER been approved by a state when put to a popular vote? If adding sexual orientation to the definition of discrimination was put to a vote would it pass in any state? Not when liberals are foaming at the mouth launching character attacks on the opposition. You don't win middle America over like that.

Maybe if you libs actually took the time to get your heads out of your asses and asked why conservatives feel the way they do without your bias getting in the way -- then you might learn something.

And for all the accusations of conservatives being filled with hatred, I haven't heard any in Virginia making wild comparisons to Nazi Germany.

It seems that the people that have the real problem here are liberals. I suppose you only have tolerance for people who agree with everything YOU believe in?

The Democratic Party is the Party of tolerance, huh? Laughable...

Posted by: alan8228 | March 10, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I am an Alexandria resident since 2002. Over the years this state's policies have resembled Nazi behavior first with regard to denying rights to unmarried couples and now denying equal rights protection to gays (Gays Need Not Apply), and remember when the immigrants (legal?) were afraid to leave their homes in Prince William County?

I think Virginia is sliding toward a Nazi state and police state for some of us, maybe not me, yet, but you know what Bonhoffer said, they came for everyone else, then they came for me.

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | March 10, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I moved to be effing close to my work. You stand in the parking lot at work you know we are surrounded by apartments.

If I have to get another job maybe I'll leave this Nazi state before they decide to persecute liberal educated Christians with mental disabilities.

"Hey wasn't that Virginia Tech shooter depressed? Let's lock up all the depressed people!"

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | March 10, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

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