Saturday, March 6, 2010

Shame, Governor McDonnell, Shame!

On March 6, 2010, This letter was published in the Daily News Record:

I am very sad to hear that Gov. Bob McDonnell has issued an executive order making discrimination against gays and lesbians the new law of the commonwealth. In rescinding Gov. Kaine’s executive order prohibiting such bigotry, Mr. McDonnell has embraced the idea that gays and lesbians are neither to be accorded civil rights nor protected from discrimination.

It was done quietly. Did he hope no one would notice? Homophobia is now sanctioned policy. Shame, Gov. McDonnell, Shame.

My additional comments:

Discrimination against gay men and lesbians was addressed by the Kaine administration because of documented instances of job loss in government positions directly related to their sexual orientation, NOT because of any inability to do the job. Gays and lesbians were SPECIFICALLY targeted in the new executive order by Mr. McDonnell who feels that there is no particular reason to protect the human and civil rights of this particular minority.

"This order is in furtherance of the stated policy enacted by the General Assembly, and specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. The policy permits appropriate employment preferences for veterans and specifically prohibits discrimination against veterans as contemplated by state and federal law." (source)

As you can see the reverence to sexual orientation is now missing, while the reference to veterans has remained. Mr. McDonnell attempted to molify those who are worried that this is indeed a regressive policy by releasing this memo:

"It shall be the policy of the office of the Governor to ensure equal opportunity in the workplace, encourage excellence by rewarding achievement based on merit, and prohibit discrimination for any reason. Hiring, promotion, discipline and termination of employees shall be based on qualifications, performance and results."

Then you should remove ALL minorities from the executive order, Governor. Virginians could be more trustful of your true intent. As it states now you seek to ensure equal opportunity for everyone, including certain minorities, except gay men and lesbians.... What a wicked web you weave.

Has discrimination against gays and lesbians disappeared from our culture? That would be great news. Does this open the door for government employees to be dismissed and denied the ability to work for the government for no other reason than their sexual orientation? Sadly, yes. Is this a regressive policy? Absolutely. What other purpose could it have served?

1 comment:

Belle Rose said...

And then there is McD's ally in discrimination (both buddies with Pat Robertson and the Family Forum) Ken Cuccinelli, who had no legal cause of action, but nevertheless warned VA colleges to stop protecting gays and lesbians in employment practices.

Elections matter. Virginia elected bigots who commune with other bigots, listen to other bigots, and love hating others. Again, elections matter. From them can spring hate. Shame not only on McDonnell and Cuccinelli, but also on all who voted for them.