Rights, Politics and Corporations
March 10, 2010 4:21 PM   Subscribe

Though the District of Columbia just welcomed its first same-sex married couple under its new marriage equality law, neighboring Virginia is dealing with the possibility of further restrictions to GLBT residents. The newly-minted state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is advising (read: instructing) Virginia's public colleges and universities that, because the state assembly has refused to add sexuality to its classes of discrimination, that for public colleges and universities to use discrimination policies which include gays and lesbians would be beyond their authority. Gov. McDonnell rescinded previous executive orders from Govs. Kaine and Warner in order to remove sexuality from the list of discrimination protections, but today responded to the controversy by directing state agencies not to discriminate against gays. And it all has something to do with Fortune 500 Company Northrop Grumman.
posted by Navelgazer (56 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Don't forget the Daily Show clip. (With apologies to anyone who is blocked from the Daily Show's streaming.)
posted by Katrel at 4:32 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now it's the military-industrial-gay-marriage complex?
posted by GuyZero at 4:40 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


A lot of our friends had to move from Virginia to Maryland and DC because, well, it's just not a friendly place for certain Americans, if they're too "open" about being "certain Americans" and if they ask too many questions about their "rights".

Though it would be saying some interesting things about who's in charge, if a corporation really is more or less directing the local yokels in how to manage their HR affairs, or else.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:44 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Virginia, where they had to pull out a full campaign against statutory rape, "Isn't she a little young?"

Yep, better keep folks safe from Teh Ghey, otherwise they might corrupt the children...
posted by yeloson at 4:49 PM on March 10, 2010


AUUUUGH! WHAT AN FUCKING ASSHOLE!!!!!!

If he were in power in the 50s, he would have told colleges that desegregated before they were ordered to that they also were beyond their authority.

Damn, I didn't want to head out to drinks all angryful.
posted by barnacles at 4:49 PM on March 10, 2010


This is a very confusing thing to me. They're trying to lure a company known for having excellent gay-friendly policies by rescinding any unspoken gay-tolerant practices across the state? I'm really not sure how all that is supposed to work, but I think someone is unclear on the concept.
posted by hippybear at 4:49 PM on March 10, 2010


Virginia Young Democrats President in Video: 'We Are Outraged' at Anti-Gay Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
posted by ericb at 4:54 PM on March 10, 2010


This is a very confusing thing to me. They're trying to lure a company known for having excellent gay-friendly policies by rescinding any unspoken gay-tolerant practices across the state?

Different states. Virginia is rescinding the practices, Maryland is luring the company.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:55 PM on March 10, 2010


My partner's parents live in Virginia, and when we go to visit I'm always aware that the state they live in makes any private contracts that I've made with her invalid if they're something that approximate marriage.
posted by rtha at 4:56 PM on March 10, 2010


This is a very confusing thing to me. They're trying to lure a company known for having excellent gay-friendly policies by rescinding any unspoken gay-tolerant practices across the state?

Exactly.

HRC's Best Places to Work [for LGBT] 2010: Aerospace & Defense -- Northrop Grumman Corp.
posted by ericb at 5:02 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


As evidence, gay-rights group Equality Virginia on Monday produced a Feb. 25 letter from a Maryland senator asking Northrop Grumman Corp.’s chief executive to locate the company’s corporate headquarters in Maryland rather than Virginia.

Good. Always aim for the wallet.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:13 PM on March 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


A lot of our friends had to move from Virginia to Maryland and DC because, well, it's just not a friendly place for certain Americans, if they're too "open" about being "certain Americans" and if they ask too many questions about their "rights".

This has eerie parallels with the exodus of African-Americans from Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Republicans pursue inhumane policies that drive out Democratic voting blocs, then reap the rewards of their own inhumanity.
posted by jonp72 at 5:17 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Virginia makes guns easy to buy and take to DC. DC makes gay marriage legal, but it's pretty hard to take back with you.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:22 PM on March 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


They're trying to lure a company known for having excellent gay-friendly policies by rescinding any unspoken gay-tolerant practices across the state?

Not just that, it's Northrop Grumman, which is vacating LA so they can be closer to the Pentagon, bringing tens of thousands of high-paying white collar jobs with them. And given that many of the workers won't relocate from California, even in this economy, it'll be an instant shot in the arm of the local economy. Plus, there's a prestige factor.

Northrop would gladly dump their "gay-friendly" moniker for lower taxes and walking distance to the Pentagon, I would guess. OTOH, Maryland has much more to offer in terms of an educated workforce, and DC would give them easy access to the Capitol and the military-industrial ATM. And the last thing they'd want is to have a sizable portion of their workforce refuse to come east because of GLBT rights issues.

It is nice to see the pro-military GOP leadership hoisted on their own social conservative petard.
posted by dw at 5:34 PM on March 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


My partner's parents live in Virginia, and when we go to visit I'm always aware that the state they live in makes any private contracts that I've made with her invalid if they're something that approximate marriage.

An organization I'm involved with held its big annual get-together (about 1500 people) in Virginia last year. Because of the state's laws, there was at least one instance of the childcare program not releasing a child to its non-biological parent, so the organization issued a recommendation that non-bioloigcal parents in same-sex relationships get a note from their partners saying it was OK for them to be with their own children.
posted by not that girl at 5:44 PM on March 10, 2010


Lifelong Virginian here. I've lived in all three corners of the state: upscale, liberal-leaning Northern Virginia; conservative, military Tidewater; and rural southwestern Virginia.

Physically, Virginia has a lot to offer. It's a beautiful state with beaches, mountains and four seasons.

Politically, it sucks ass. It's always been run by a good-ol-boy network that has money and loves business. They take great pride in making Virginia "the most business-friendly state in the union". (Funny they use the word "union" when we are a right-to-work state.)

Morality has been a political football here for as long as I can remember. Remember, we are the home of both Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson - founding members in the "hate sells and can be used to influence politics" club.

McDonnell is just the latest in a long line of reactionary jerks who think that government needs to be the strict and punishing father to be effective. Threatening to move a business out of the state is just about the only way to get these guys' attention. as far as they are concerned we are not citizens, we are just a tax-paying labor pool.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:47 PM on March 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


Though it would be saying some interesting things about who's in charge, if a corporation really is more or less directing the local yokels in how to manage their HR affairs, or else.

Welcome to the world of business-friendly government. Let me nth the "hit these guys in the wallet because it's what gets their attention" sentiment; about the only nicer people it could happen to are my own state's (Texas') business-friendly conservatives.
posted by immlass at 5:51 PM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sic Semper Tyrannis indeed.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 6:46 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Physically, Virginia has a lot to offer…Politically, it sucks ass.

I’m a newbie Virginian, but I’m surprised at this because I’ve always heard the opposite, that Virginia is generally a well-governed state.

Anyway, let me just say that this whole fiasco is nothing short of embarrassing for my state. It’s especially sad because I was just starting to hate McDonnell less. Clearly, the whole “moderate” thing is a facade for the wingnut inside. It would have been so easy politically to just keep the executive orders in place. I find it hard to believe this will gain him a single moderate supporter.

Sigh.
posted by Garak at 6:47 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


...that Virginia is generally a well-governed state.

Virginia is, fiscally, a fairly well-run state. The problem is they always take the most conservative, punishing way to get there. For instance, the legislature has already passed a law stating that Virginia will not participate in any federally-run insurance reforms, should they come to pass.

Clearly, the whole “moderate” thing is a facade for the wingnut inside.

Yet another bunch of blatant, "I dare you to call me on it" bunch of lies from a politician with a well-known history of radically conservative viewpoints. He's on the record, for example, stating his belief that women should not have jobs outside the home.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:12 PM on March 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


He's on the record, for example, stating his belief that women should not have jobs outside the home.

Good luck on wide acceptance of that viewpoint. Even the most die-hard Republican these days understands that most middle-class households would be unsupportable if only one member worked. Unless you have a job with great benefits, it just ain't happening.

I moved to Virginia about 2 years ago, and in many ways I love it. There's a great small business culture down here (in the Tidewater area). It's close enough to DC, Baltimore, and other things. There's great venues for music. However, we have probably the worst political society I've seen in many states. It's like they don't even try any more, because they think that you'll never leave or challenge their ways. As I mentioned in my AskMe, we're trying to form a Green Party chapter here that can challenge local politics and eventually push things in the state. I'm kind of hoping that the system will totally discount us so that when we hit, we hit hard.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:43 PM on March 10, 2010


Northrop would gladly dump their "gay-friendly" moniker for lower taxes and walking distance to the Pentagon, I would guess. OTOH, Maryland has much more to offer in terms of an educated workforce, and DC would give them easy access to the Capitol and the military-industrial ATM. And the last thing they'd want is to have a sizable portion of their workforce refuse to come east because of GLBT rights issues.

What are you talking about? You don't need "walking distance" to the Pentagon because it has its own Metro stop. Also, the Capitol is more accessible from many locations in Virginia and Maryland than many locations in the District, owing to traffic patterns and the availability of public transportation. Finally, Maryland has a more educated workforce than Virginia? What in the world is your basis for that statement? And I would even let you keep rural south and west Virginia in the equation, even though they are not really part of the metropolitan labor pool.
posted by Slap Factory at 7:50 PM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


He's on the record, for example, stating his belief that women should not have jobs outside the home.

Jesus Christ. He wrote a college essay defending this idea, but he has repudiated it unequivocally as an adult. Maybe it means that he's a secret misogynist, but you're waaaaay overstating the case here.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:50 PM on March 10, 2010


Yet another bunch of blatant, "I dare you to call me on it" bunch of lies from a politician with a well-known history of radically conservative viewpoints. He's on the record, for example, stating his belief that women should not have jobs outside the home.

By "on record," you're referring to his college thesis from twenty years ago?
posted by Slap Factory at 7:53 PM on March 10, 2010


By "on record," you're referring to his college thesis from twenty years ago?

Yes, I do.

That's not the only instance of him airing his viewpoints, though. Anyway, I wouldn't be so quick to consider his college thesis some forgiveable, "toss-away" remark. He was 34 years old; hardly some bubble-headed kid.

A sane human being would never have that thought, much less express it.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:05 PM on March 10, 2010 [10 favorites]


Never underestimate a man with political ambitions to become President and the backing of the national Republican party who would like him to be President but need him to seem more centrist:

McDonnell changes direction, tells universities and all state folks that anti-discrimination laws include gay folk.

Notice, it's a directive and not an order.

He is also distancing himself even more than Cucinelli.

As a lifelong Virginian, I struggle with the stay here and use my vote and voice for good, or go someplace else battle and abandon hope. I did see some significant progress last fall, some of which was obviated this fall in a classic Virginia pendulum of overreactive voting and a poor campaign by which ever party was last on the upside.
posted by julen at 8:07 PM on March 10, 2010


Too bad the phrase, "Virginia is for straight, gender-normative lovers," doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. "Virginia is for bigots," has a certain ring, however.
posted by Skwirl at 8:24 PM on March 10, 2010


OTOH, Maryland has much more to offer in terms of an educated workforce, and DC would give them easy access to the Capitol and the military-industrial ATM. And the last thing they'd want is to have a sizable portion of their workforce refuse to come east because of GLBT rights issues.

Maryland has "more" of an educated workforce than Virginia? Are you serious?

And given that many of the workers won't relocate from California, even in this economy, it'll be an instant shot in the arm of the local economy.

I can think of 100 good reasons to relocate to Virginia from California without breaking a sweat, even with troglodytes like Cuccinelli in office, and I'm a native Californian. The biggest one is that the latest unemployment stats show California with a 12.5% unemployment rate and Virginia with 6.9%. It doesn't mean I'd go there, but then again, I'm not in California anymore.

Never underestimate a man with political ambitions to become President and the backing of the national Republican party who would like him to be President but need him to seem more centrist

My suspicion is that the Republican Party is nowhere within 10,000 miles of any desire to have any presidential nominee seem more centrist.
posted by blucevalo at 8:24 PM on March 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I swear I proofread that. Corrections: from Cuccinelli and
As a lifelong Virginian, I struggle with the 'stay here and use my vote and voice for good, or go someplace else' instead of continuing to battle and abandon hope for Virginia.'

I do believe that McDonnell's views on women have been moderated somewhat from his callow 34-year old youth. Somewhat. I think it's partially the example of his own wife and daughters, and partially because he's acclimating to the changing times. McDonnell sees himself as mainstream conservative, the kind of mainstream conservative that gets elected. I really believe the reaction on all levels - state employees, university leaders and students, people in the community, business leaders, the media (who were all about this story even those who pretended not to celebrate it) shocked him and made him think about the issue from both a personal ambition point of view (i.e. hey, I'm unpopular and notorious, and that's not good for elections) and as a reflection of his own self-image. He thinks of himself as a knight-errant, on the side of what is right and good. He loves the sinner and not the sin, and Cuccinelli's letter was definitely not about loving the sinner. This directive lets him feel good about himself, and gives him a bragging point for future political forays when his term is up.

I've already heard the "It's Cuccinelli's fault" whispers. That's faster than normal.
posted by julen at 8:39 PM on March 10, 2010


blucevalo: "
My suspicion is that the Republican Party is nowhere within 10,000 miles of any desire to have any presidential nominee seem more centrist.
"

The key word is "seem". Not "is". You appeal to the masses, wink at your base, and then do what you want after you get elected because it's the "will of the people".
posted by julen at 8:41 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Living in Northern Virginia is weird, though I love it. In the same way that Miami is "southern New York," NoVa is sort of like a "southern Boston." Alexandria is one of the coolest, most gorgeous cities around (though, like Bristol in the UK, has its awesomeness and beauty marred with the history of the slave trade) and though all of NoVa centers seemingly around the Pentagon, it is surprisingly chill and outstandingly liberal.

I don't imagine I'll be living here much longer, but I kind of love Virginia. The mix of DC power-money and southern hospitality give it a weird, though unaffected, cross between the down-home and the urbane, and once one gets out of the cities, it is absolutely fucking beautiful.

I've lived in a lot of different places, and come to love them all in different ways, and as such have come to realize that State Pride™ takes different forms in different states (or commonwealths.) In Texas it's that "Fuck Yeah We Stand Alone!" kind of thing. In Oklahoma it's grittier, coming from a place of at once banding together because of the perception the state has in the rest of the country, and celebrating knowing that the people there aren't the yokels y'all think we are. New York is a lot like Texas, though strangely more fearful, in a way, of what the rest of the country can do to us, though that may just be from my liberal perspective. New York's pride comes with greater confidence, though.

In D.C., the Pride comes from a major persecution complex, and one which is entirely earned. The blackest city in America, very poor, situated around the corridors of power but unable to rule itself. And most of the money being earned there goes to Bethesda or Arlington. D.C. Pride comes from surviving.

Virginia's is stranger though, because it comes from history. Not the facts of that history, though - more the fact that the history was here. Mount Vernon. Monticello. Jamestown. Williamsburg. Virginia makes a good case for simply being America, with the rest of the colonies and add-ons as followers.

The Commonwealth also knows that it is in transition. That's why this story is so important. Virginia needs Northrop Grumman, and though we elected a Republican governor due to the press-invented Obama backlash, Cuccinelli made people wake up and say "no." In this purplest of states, populist and corporate influences converging to tell the Attorney General to fuck off about infringing gay rights is a big deal.

That's all.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:25 PM on March 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


Gahd, it is sad to watch the beast of homophobia thrash about in its death throes. Good grief, it's the year 20-freaking-10: DIE ALREADY.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:27 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ. He wrote a college essay defending this idea, but he has repudiated it unequivocally as an adult. Maybe it means that he's a secret misogynist, but you're waaaaay overstating the case here.

Last I checked, college students are adults.
---

Also the fact the D.C. has become an economic center really speaks to the insane levels of corruption in the U.S. government these days. The founders purposefully located the capital away from NYC, which was even back then the commercial hub. The fact that Northrop Grumman is moving to the region to better apply the lobbying lube is just disgusting.

They ought to just move the capital to Boise or Minneapolis or Santa Fe or something.
posted by delmoi at 9:37 PM on March 10, 2010


OTOH, Maryland has much more to offer in terms of an educated workforce, and DC would give them easy access to the Capitol and the military-industrial ATM.

Seriously, I hate Northern Virginia as much as the next guy, but there's not exactly a shortage of defense contractors, or people qualified to be defense contractors, up there.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 9:45 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


They ought to just move the capital to Boise or Minneapolis or Santa Fe or something.

If they did that would DC residents get to vote for congresspeople? I don't want them to move the capital, but voting would be nice.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:56 PM on March 10, 2010


If they did that would DC residents get to vote for congresspeople? I don't want them to move the capital, but voting would be nice.

If they moved the capital, Washington D.C. would no longer be a federal district. It would revert to being part of Maryland just as the southern half has already reverted to being part of Virginia. So, yes, they would get to vote as Maryland citizens.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:30 PM on March 10, 2010


You appeal to the masses, wink at your base, and then do what you want after you get elected because it's the "will of the people".

The base is all that matters to the GOP. Screw the masses.
posted by blucevalo at 5:27 AM on March 11, 2010


Virginia needs Northrop Grumman, and though we elected a Republican governor due to the press-invented Obama backlash, Cuccinelli made people wake up and say "no." In this purplest of states, populist and corporate influences converging to tell the Attorney General to fuck off about infringing gay rights is a big deal.

Absolutely.
posted by blucevalo at 5:29 AM on March 11, 2010


They take great pride in making Virginia "the most business-friendly state in the union". (Funny they use the word "union" when we are a right-to-work state.)

Not the only ironic thing about that statement, either.
posted by atrazine at 5:56 AM on March 11, 2010


At least things are obviously changing. I like reading these kinds of articles just for the comments sections on the newspaper websites. And even from last year, you can tell the tide is turning somewhat. And compared to 5 years ago? What a huge difference in the angry mob.
posted by Theta States at 6:53 AM on March 11, 2010


In other, disheartening GLBT school news...
posted by Pollomacho at 7:21 AM on March 11, 2010


and though we elected a Republican governor due to the press-invented Obama backlash

Honestly, I think it was less about Obama and more because Deeds was just a horrible campaigner. You've got to give people a reason to get excited, get involved and show up to vote. And Deeds failed miserably on all three fronts. The only reason I voted for him at all is because I knew McDonnell would immediately tack to the hard right as soon as he got in and because the GOP cannot govern worth shit. Unless you really care about politics and policy, that's not enough to get most people out to the polls.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:57 AM on March 11, 2010


The founders purposefully located the capital away from NYC, which was even back then the commercial hub.

That was basically a sop to the south to help get them on board with the new constitution, not anything particularly principled.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:57 AM on March 11, 2010


The only reason I voted for him at all is because I knew McDonnell would immediately tack to the hard right as soon as he got in and because the GOP cannot govern worth shit.

How many times does VA have to learn this lesson? Republican Gubernatorial candidates in Virginia ALWAYS pretend to be center-right to court the middle and then they run to the right wing as fast as their chubby little reptillian legs will carry them because they know that with one term they don't have to live up to a single centrist position. Then next election same old broken record. The Democrats do not reciprocate. They find a center(-right) candidate who is actually a center(-right) candidate. The left gets nothing.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:27 AM on March 11, 2010


This was all for political show.

I would say with very few reservations, that not one Virginia Public school would have followed Cuccinelli's directive. What little taste of collegiate politics I got at Virginia Tech, I know that the BOV does not like being told what to do, and Pres. Steger has been too mindful (not exactly a cheerleader, but publicly supportive) of gay rights to break the University's commitments to all students and faculty. I can also say there would have been at least 1 riot (VCU, lookin' at you), and large demonstrations on every campus.

Life long Virginians may feel like there are lots of improvements the commonwealth could make. I moved to VA at 16 from New Mexico, and right away knew there was a difference. I could see what great benefits there were to having a strong state government like VA's. Good universities that were affordable, public health and mental health services I didn't know would ever be state provided, and though it varies throughout the state, a generally strong public school system as well. Virginia takes a classic model of strong local governments and a somewhat weaker central government established for the commonwealth. I like it.

Compare to states like Texas, who's strong central government, and local governments set on enforcing law on citizens, could almost be described as neo-fascist at times. Or New Mexico's state government, whom as far as I could tell, the only thing they ever did was every few years entertain legalizing marijuana, and get scammed by businesses promising to bring jobs.

And yeah, though I haven't been involved with YDVA since 08, (having moved to Texas), that was Deed's campaign to loose. McDonnell is more centrist, or at least pragmatic, than conservatives and Republicans elsewhere in the country would like him to be. He never would have been elected otherwise.
posted by fontophilic at 9:19 AM on March 11, 2010


This has eerie parallels with the exodus of African-Americans from Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.

Off topic I know, but what is this "exodus" you speak of? LA still has a massive black population; many left New Orleans because their homes were destroyed, but the idea that there was an "exodus" because of the governing political party is one of the silliest examples of revisionist history I've seen lately.

On topic- been married, legally for going on 7 years to my same-sex partner here in Canada- Alberta, in fact. You folks castigating "Virginia" need to look at huge, huge, huge swaths of your entire ridiculous country. The fact that a gay couple's rights can disappear on crossing state lines is shameful.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:30 AM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


On topic- been married, legally for going on 7 years to my same-sex partner here in Canada- Alberta, in fact. You folks castigating "Virginia" need to look at huge, huge, huge swaths of your entire ridiculous country. The fact that a gay couple's rights can disappear on crossing state lines is shameful.

Off topic- I'm straight, but my wife and I got married in Jasper, AB. We have always loved western Canada and spend every chance we can there.

And amen to your comment.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:55 AM on March 11, 2010


I know, Pollomacho, I love the state, but the goldfish-length political memory of many Virginians drives me nuts. It's not bad enough (yet) to get me to move to Maryland though (I'll have to reconsider if Liz "I LOVE TORTURE" Cheney beats Webb in 2012).
posted by longdaysjourney at 10:13 AM on March 11, 2010


You folks castigating "Virginia" need to look at huge, huge, huge swaths of your entire ridiculous country. The fact that a gay couple's rights can disappear on crossing state lines is shameful.

Um..... Yes. I think that most of us are aware of this. In this particular thread, we are lamenting that rights which had been granted by a previous administration of one of our states are being rescinded, which is an entirely different matter to the individual laws of each state and how they may or may not apply to couples crossing state lines.

It's actually going to involve exactly this kind of disparity of recognition to come to a nasty horrid puss-filled head which will finally force some kind of universality of policy across the US. This will likely happen despite some amount of previous decisions having been made about states recognizing each others marriages, etc. I'm sure Loving vs. Virginia will have some bearing, as will the Proposition 9 case currently awaiting ruling in California.

But really, your comment mostly read to me like so many comments from Canadians regarding gay marriage or health care: just a [NelsonLaugh.wav] and then a push face down into a mud puddle. Believe me, we know how fucked up it all is. Do you have suggestions on how to force change faster than is occurring? Because we'd all like to hear them if you do.
posted by hippybear at 10:56 AM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ceaseless letters to The Powers That Be, the occassional public demonstration, and voting with your dollars: those can all help force faster change.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:07 AM on March 11, 2010


Ceaseless letters to The Powers That Be, the occassional public demonstration, and voting with your dollars: those can all help force faster change.

Do you really think those methods are not being tried? Do you think those methods are not being used by the opposition as well?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:55 AM on March 11, 2010


This is pretty absurd, and it's reflecting the fact that evil politicians are also becoming incredibly silly in playing across issues, making sure that they get their names in the news, even if they're talking about gay marriage when they're in a tax-law session.

On the bright side, Virginia colleges are not having any of it.
posted by tmcw at 1:17 PM on March 11, 2010


Northrop Grumman has plenty of current facilities in Virginia. According to there career website, they have 500 job opennings in the state across 30 cities. There's no sign that Northrop's HR policies differ based on state mandate, or that if they chose VA over MD that they'd change anything about their (straight or gay) domestic partner policies. Without any known response from Wes Bush I wouldn't say that Northrop has any part in this story, beyond being dragged into it to "hit VA in the wallet" as it were.
posted by garlic at 2:23 PM on March 11, 2010


As a W&M alum and VA resident, I've been following this very closely via the Facebook uprising that Cuccinelli's letter set off. Above, julen links to the "directive" McDonnell released under fire yesterday, successfully promoting the narrative that he has, as the headline says, "changed direction" on the issue of LGBT rights. Julen points out, correctly, that it's an executive directive and not an executive order. In VA, such directives do not carry the force of law that exec orders (such as McDonnell's #6 which totally rescinded LGBT protections) do. But that's not all.

Even if the directive was anything more than a suggestion printed on official stationery, it still doesn't re-prohibit LGBT discrimination, or in any way change McDonnell's stance or policy.

In the directive, McDonnell writes: "The Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution prohibits discrimination without a rational basis against any class of persons. Discrimination based on factors such as one’s sexual orientation or parental status violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution." The italicized part is false, or at least misleading. Federal law does not grant suspect classification to LGBT individuals; therefore, they do not receive a full "strict scrutiny" review under the EPClause. This is what allows for "marriage protection acts" like Prop 8: the discriminated-against class is not fully covered by Equal Protection.

McDonnell also states that "The Virginia Human Rights Act recognizes the unlawfulness of conduct that violates any Virginia or federal statute or regulation governing discrimination against certain enumerated classes of persons." The Virginia Human Rights Act, like federal law, does not include "sexual orientation" among its protected classifications.

After citing the Virginia Human Rights Act (which doesn't prohibit LGBT discrimination) and the Equal Protection Clause (which doesn't prohibit LGBT discrimination), McDonnell continues: "Therefore, discrimination against enumerated classes of persons set forth in the Virginia Human Rights Act or discrimination against any class of persons without a rational basis is prohibited."

McDonnell's not a dumb bigot. He has deflated the opposition's momentum by sounding conciliatory while very carefully avoiding the fact that the laws he's citing as the basis for his discrimination policy do not prohibit anti-gay discrimination. This changes nothing about McDonnell's, or VA's, ongoing rollback of civil rights.
posted by unregistered_animagus at 3:50 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, oh, one more thing (as if my last wasn't long enough):

On the very same day (yesterday) that McDonnell publicly (and falsely) claimed that the federal government prohibits LGBT discrimination and that VA of course defers to federal law, his House of Delegates voted 80-17 to preemptively override a (proposed) federal law they disagree with. McDonnell has already pledged his support.

So, even if the directive carried the force of law, and even if the federal law said what the directive claims it does, VA Republicans reserve the right to ignore it anyway.

(I would be happy to provide links to the Facebook groups if anyone is interested. Not that they're hard to find. Dude picked on the wrong generation.)
posted by unregistered_animagus at 3:59 PM on March 11, 2010


that was Deed's campaign to loose

Yes and no - since 1977, the governor of Virginia has always been of the opposite party of the President elected the previous year. It would have been pretty impressive for Deeds to break that trend. That said, he ran a truly abysmal campaign.

Anyway, glad to see President Reveley of W&M publicly commenting on this - go Tribe!
posted by naoko at 6:10 PM on March 11, 2010


« Older The Shining Cuckoo Clock. The clock mimics the mo...  |  Anarchism and Science Fiction:... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments