Virginia’s Gov Doesn’t Want Gay State Workers Protected. So He Removed Their Protections

So, that was annoying: “Gov. McDonnell has signed a new executive order that strips former protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation for employees of the Commonwealth of Virginia, while legislation to protect those employees has died in the state’s legislature. On Monday, Feb. 8, the state Senate passed legislation to protect public employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The bill would have codified and expanded previous policy set by executive orders from former Governors Tim Kaine and Mark Warner based on sexual orientation only, but the legislation died in a House subcommittee on Tuesday, Feb. 9.” [HRCBS]

UPDATE 3/5: Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli joins the ridiculous policies of the governor (who held the AG job before becoming gov) by demanding state colleges rescind discrimination protections for LGBT employees. His full letter is here.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #bobmcdonnell #college #discrimination stories and more


  • thatguyfromboston

    This is what happens when you don’t vote!

  • Mark

    So glad my partner and I moved from that horrible state years ago. We now live in a state that recognizes our legal marriage!

  • tinkerbell

    The last time I voted was in 2006 in the evil state (commonwealth) of VA. In that election, the electorate codified into their “bill of RIGHTS” language that ensured my second-class citizenry. The very next day, I went to my county registrar and had my name removed from the voting register. I have not voted since and now refuse to vote in a country that can put my civil rights up to a common vote. VIRGINIA SUCKS. Please don’t spend your money in Virginia. It’s such a hateful state.

  • Kieran

    Wow Tinkerbell, you had your name removed from the voting register. That’ll teach ’em!

  • 1EqualityUSA

    They’re making a cologne that smells like Virginia I hear.

  • Carlaclaws

    Mark wrote:

    So glad my partner and I moved from that horrible state years ago. We now live in a state that recognizes our legal marriage!

    Read more:
    Yeah, well, I’m not leaving. This is my home, and the home of my ancestors, and I will not allow my Commonwealth to be overtaken by people of the same mindset that would have thrown me and my husband in jail for trying to get married here 40 years before we did.

    I will stay, and I will push. Hard. They will not take us back to those days without a fight.

  • Carlaclaws

    (Oh, and I DID vote. Not for McDonnell. Surprised?)

  • tinkerbell

    @Kieran: Kieran, 2 questions: have you ever lived/grown up in a southern state? and…have you retained or gained any of your civil rights at a ballot box??? How about any of the other 29 states that have amended their constitutions to strip gay folk of civil rights? Have ANY ballot measures done us any good? We are second-class citizens and the action we need to take is non-violent civil disobedience, not going to Democratic fundraisers and hoping for the next election where we can tell ourselves we’re doing the best we can by voting for a “gay friendly” politician.

    Voting in this country as a gay person is a WASTE OF TIME. If you feel otherwise, please keep deluding yourself. We need to take action, not hope for the majority to change their minds and treat us as equals.

  • Rob Moore

    @tinkerbell: I agree with much of what you say. I am leaning towards not voting here in Georgia, which makes Virginia look almost moderate. In Georgia, even the Democrats screwed us when they still had any power.

    We do need to do more than talk and try to persuade sweetly. I do not advocate violence, but I do think we need to become more confrontational. We need to force people to see us rather than just read about us. Gay Pride needs to be less of a party and flea market and more of a protest march. Here in Atlanta, we should be disobeying the city and instead of marching up Peachtree to Piedmont park with pretty floats, we should march down Peachtree and march to the Governor’s Mansion whether the police like it or not.

    At Halloween, we should all go to the Governor’s Mansion on West Paces Ferry and yell all at once, “TRICK OR TREAT” and give him a treat.

  • tinkerbell

    @Rob Moore: Absolutely, Rob. I’m SO tired of going to the ballot box, voting for a certain party in hopes they will treat me as an equal, and then being stripped of my civil rights.

    We have tried the system, and the system has not only failed us, but it continues to demean us and we are such a tiny minority that we have no other choice but to take the next logical step and practice civil disobedience. That is all we have left here in the south. We are just as good as straights…it’s time for us to let them know.

  • San Francisco Treat

    SERIOUSLY?! The “stop voting and start marching” strategy is idiotic. The two are NOT mutually exclusive! March AND vote! I realize attaining recognition of our inherent EQUALITY as CITIZENS cannot possibly move fast enough, but remarkable progress has been and is being made.



  • Mark

    I understand the ideas behind not voting, but I think that is throwing away a weapon in our arsenal. I think we should vote, but with the understanding that our rights are NOT something that should be granted at the ballot box. If the political right is going to vote on our civil rights, we should develop similar strategies, and find candidates who would seriously propose legislation that would curtail the rights of other groups. (limiting divorce is the first thought that comes to mind). If this is the world straights want to create for us, let us show them how it is to live in such a world.

  • emb

    I think we’re missing the point, here, guys. It’s precisely BECAUSE people stayed home and didn’t vote in the Virginia gubernatorial election that those state employees lost their protections. There should never have been any doubt that a republican would do that. The Dems are way far away from perfect, and their hands are as dirty as the republicans in many ways regarding gay rights, but on the whole they’ve gotta be a preferable alternative. When we “sit it out” the motivated loonies winn and we end up in a worse situation than otherwise. It proves nothing to anyone, and no one outside our wee minority community is going to cry for us as what few rights we have dribble away while we watch from the sidelines.

  • Lukas P.

    @tinkerbell: What actions do you suggest residents of Virginia take? And what about us folks who live in other states?

    So much for the slogan “Virginia is for Lovers,” huh?

    The Gov. has spoken, and I fear other governors will follow in his footsteps.
    Sad. Very sad.

Comments are closed.