Equality Virginia is continuing to keep the pressure on Virginia GOP Governor Bob McDonnell and the gay haters in the Virginia General Assembly by urging the leaders of Virginia's colleges and universities to lobby for the amendment of the state's nondiscrimination statute to include sexual orientation and gender identity and to also codify work place non-discrimination policies to afford such protections. The letter that Jon Blair, Executive Director of Equality Virginia, sent to college and university leaders can be found here.
Inasmuch as McDonnell has already stated in Executive Directive 1 (2010) that such discrimination violates the United States Constitution, one would think that the issue should not be so difficult. But that conclusion is not so simple. McDonnell's puppeteers at The Family Foundation are none too happy with his execution of Executive Directive 1 (2010) as evidenced by this blog entry on TFF's blog:
The Family Foundation has and continues to maintain that there is no need for special protections for homosexuals. As the issue was thoroughly debated and voted on multiple times throughout this year's General Assembly, no evidence of discrimination was presented. . . . we are concerned when the Governor's action is being heralded as a step forward by the ACLU and the state's largest homosexual lobby, Equality Virginia (Pilot on Politics).
In a statement, Kent Willis of the ACLU said, "We hope this is only the beginning, and that the Governor's example will inspire legislators to finally pass a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in both private and public sector employment."
Any thought that the groups and organizations behind this effort will stop at public employment is naive. It is very clear that they want to force private businesses -- including churches -- to abide by their morality.
As usually, The Family Foundation attributes its own motive of forcing its religious beliefs on all to those who merely want all citizens afforded equality under the civil laws. The Richmond Times Dispatch has more on EV's efforts to mobilize colleges and their students. Here are highlights:
Keeping pressure on state leaders over what they see as Virginia's weak anti-bias protections, gay-rights group Equality Virginia is calling on college and university leadership to join their push for a change in state law.
The letter from Equality Virginia Chief Executive Officer Jon Blair is the latest effort to keep heat on Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's opinion that tax-supported colleges and universities have no legal foundation for protecting gay students and employees from discrimination.
If Democrats are smart, they will get engaged on this issue which resonates with college age voters who were noticeably absent at the polls last November. If the Democrats hope to eliminate GOP control of the House of Delegates in 2011 and thereby exert control over McDonnell and Cuccinelli, they need college age voters upset with the GOP to come out in force at the polls next year. As David Mixner has noted, this issue needs to be kept alive at all of Virginia's public campuses:
Facebook pages to oppose this effort are collecting an amazing number of students signing up to protest Cuccinelli. Just look at some of the numbers;
University of Virginia - 2,100 students
William and Mary - 2,100 students
Virginia Commonwealth University - 2,300 students
Virginia Tech - 1,600 students
University of Mary Washington - 1000 students