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McDonnell: No special counsel to enforce directive banning discrimination against gays

Anita Kumar

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said in a recent interview that he will not appoint a special counsel to oversee his new executive directive prohibiting discrimination as he has been requested by the gay advocacy group Equality Virginia.

McDonnell's directive to all 102,000 state employees prohibits discrimination in the state workforce, including on the basis of sexual orientation, and warns he will reprimand or fire anyone who engages in it.

He issued the non-legally binding directive a week after Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) distributed a letter to the state's public colleges and universities asking them to remove references to sexual orientation from their campus nondiscrimination policies. Cuccinelli says that only the General Assembly has the authority to extend legal protections to gays.

In a letter sent to McDonnell Friday, Equality Virginia executive director Jon Blair argued Cuccinelli's advice indicates he and his staff would be "unable to render" legal services on the issue.

McDonnell has yet to officially respond to the letter, but told us in an interview that a special counsel would not be necessary because Cuccinelli and Virginia Secretary of Administration Lisa Hicks-Thomas will ensure that no employees are discriminated against.

"The attorney general and I both agree that you can't amend the Human Rights Act by any action other than the legislature. We both agree on that,'' McDonnell said. "The attorney general also agrees with most of what I said in my directive...so I don't the attorney general and I disagree on what the law is. The attorney general's job is to declare the law. It's my job to set the policy and help the General Assembly set the policy."

By Anita Kumar  |  March 17, 2010; 2:08 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Comments

mcdonald and his ag are worthless thugs when it comes to protecting anyone who is not a white male over 40...more smoke and mirror from the gov!

Posted by: ksowa | March 17, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Homophobia is intolerance which brings no benefit. McDonnell should form a special counsel to enforce his directive which says that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohhibited. Equality Virginia has done a good thing by sending a letter to McDonnell that Cuccinelli would be useless in enforcing the directive.

Posted by: LibertyForAll | March 17, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Why would Cuccinelli even go this far unless he wanted to make the point that equal protection didn't include gays. Who elected this fool? Does the state of Virginia want to be known as a place that's intolerant of gays or anyone for that matter. It doesn't make good business sense and its wrong. This guy is a Christian and how about Equal protection under the law...where did Cuccinelli get his law degree, off the back of a cereal box perhaps. Looking forward to finding out that he has Gay tendencies. Such a Joke.

Posted by: Pstacy | March 17, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

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