Democratic Senators Denounce Attorney General Cuccinelli's Advice to Colleges on Nondiscrimination

~ Attorney General tells colleges and universities to rescind policies protecting members of GLBT community ~


RICHMOND—The Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus today denounced Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s attempts to dismantle discrimination protections for gays and lesbians at Virginia’s colleges and universities. In a letter to the leaders of the state’s institutes of higher education, Attorney General Cuccinelli says that schools should strike protections for gays and lesbians from their nondiscrimination policies. Democratic Senators issued the following statements in response to the Attorney General’s actions:

“Virginia is the proud home to world class colleges and universities who can determine appropriate discrimination policies for themselves,” said Senator Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Arlington), chair of the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus. “Our schools and our state should welcome the best and brightest from all over the world without discriminating based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other characteristics.”

“The Attorney General’s actions are unconscionable.  It's this kind of misguided behavior that can cost Virginia high-paying jobs with companies that value diversity,” said Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax).

“Many of us thought this was the course Ken Cuccinnelli would choose as Attorney General, and I am sad to say we were correct,” said Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico). “Attorney General Cuccinelli and Governor McDonnell are putting McDonnell’s troubling graduate school thesis into practice.”

 “Attorney General Cuccinelli is turning the clock back on civil rights in Virginia,” said Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke). “His advice to Virginia’s colleges and universities has no basis in the law.”

“This isn’t unexpected. As his former colleagues in the Senate we knew his legislative priorities and I knew they would not change once he was elected Attorney General,” said Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth). “This is not a proud day for Virginia.”

In February, the Virginia Senate, led by 22 Democratic Senators, approved legislation that would have put protection for GLBT state workers into law. The bill was killed by five Republican members of a House of Delegates subcommittee. The Governor’s Office testified that they had “no opinion” on the bill.


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