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No 'rampant discrimination' against gay employees to argue for law, McDonnell says

Rosalind Helderman

Gov. Bob McDonnell said today that Virginia does not need to write protections for gays and lesbians into state statute because he has not seen evidence of discrimination in the state workforce.

Breaking with the practice of his Democratic predecessors, McDonnell did not include sexual orientation in an executive order he issued barring discrimination in the state workforce shortly after taking office.

He argued that he could not include protections for gays without authority from the General Assembly, which has repeatedly declined to adopt a law on the issue. But in past interviews, McDonnell has never been clear about whether he supported the General Assembly taking action. He told Post columnist Bob McCartney that he might, in fact, sign such a law if passed.

But asked today on the "Ask the Governor" program at Richmond's WRVA radio whether he would sign such legislation, he said, "I don't know that we need it based on the numbers that I've seen."

He added: "There really isn't any rampant discrimination on any basis in Virginia. If you're going to have a law, it needs to actually address a real problem."

The issue has received increased attention since Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli wrote letters to every public university in Virginia asking them to rescind nondiscrimination policies that mentioned sexual orientation because he said those policies had been adopted without legislative authority.

In response to the ensuing controversy, McDonnell then issued an executive directive indicating that state employees who discriminate, including on the basis of sexual orientation, will face sanctions on the job. McDonnell indicated that he could offer no legal protections without legislative approval.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  March 25, 2010; 6:13 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , State Senate  
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Thats funny-I would have thought that one person being vcitimized by discrimination would have been enough
Would one black guy who wasnt hired because he was black not merit a law to protect him because he's just one guy?
Bigotry still exists in peopel who are supposed to be protecting us...
But theyre dying off-some day some day...

Posted by: Amalgamate | March 25, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Really, has he seen the FBI stats on hate crime victims?

Posted by: bobbarnes | March 25, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

He added: "There really isn't any rampant discrimination on any basis in Virginia. If you're going to have a law, it needs to actually address a real problem."

So why doesn't he remove all the other classes from his executive order. Hypocrisy maybe

Posted by: Lulu15 | March 26, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

If there is no problem with gays and lesbians not experiencing prejudice in VA then why not have a law on the books protecting these citizens? The answer is the of course there is anti-gay prejudice and hate, and if the Gov helped produce laws to protect these folks, he'd have to do something about anti-gay prejudice and hate.this is called DENIAL.Don't worry Gov- We won't forget and will vote you and your low life "culture-warrior",bigoted cohorts out of office at the next possible moment in time.Maybe there will be a way to impeach you before that!!

Posted by: lsf07 | March 26, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Virginians are not "rampantly" having sex with animals, so should the state get rid of its anti-beastiality laws too?
the idea that a crime has to be "rampant" before the state will address it is ludicrious and a blantantly false rationalization. shame on mcdonnell. he is supposed to be serving all virginians, not just his core right-wing conservative base fanclub.

Posted by: MarilynManson | March 26, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

This governor just proves that his bias, hate, and dislike color his rational judgment...he is a disgrace to this State

Posted by: fairness3 | March 26, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

The rampant discrimination is with McDonnell, and his lapdog Cuccinelli.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 26, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The anti-gay bias and discrimination emanates from the Republican political leadership of Virginia. Even Republicans recognize that gays and lesbians are not treated with equality in Virginia.

Posted by: JohnnyU2Berry | March 26, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

WOW..just wow...and another reason to NEVER go threw nor too the state of Va. Governor..HOw many LGBT people does it take to be discriminated against before they qualify for pretections? How many...5,10...10, 1000? what? Pathetic...he's a Bigot! Plain and simple..again USING his religion to Justify it...him and his disgusting AG! SHAME SHAME!

Posted by: rextrek1 | March 26, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

What a surprise! A right wing bigot looks around and does not see any bigotry. I guess he's never met his Attorney General...

Posted by: bgd1964 | March 26, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

So what Bob McDonnell is saying, is that there IS a rampant discrimination problem in VA regarding race, religion and gender.

Posted by: bobbarnes | March 26, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Either he is completely ignorant or a liar. Or both.

Posted by: homer4 | March 26, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

If the standard is "rampant" discrimination, isn't it time to repeal religion-based protections?

Posted by: rmnelson | March 26, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

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