In the wake of his letter to the public colleges and universities in Virginia directing them to strip gays and lesbians of employment protection policies, the reaction has been loud and one of universal condemnation - except of course for the Christo-fascists at The Family Foundation, Daddy Dobson's racist, anti-immigrant and anti-gay affiliate based in Richmond which applauded Cuccinelli's action.
One can only wonder what else Cuccinelli wants to eliminate in Virginia given his Opus Dei style of Catholicism. Abortion is certainly one item on his hit list as is divorce and birth control in all likelihood. I have been chided by some for using the word "Taliban" in connection with Bob McDonnell and Cuccinelli, but I believe it is apt insofar as it underscores their desire to force all Virginians to live by their extremist personal religious dogmas.
The vileness of Cuccinelli's action really struck me Friday night at dinner at a local club surrounded by an all gay and lesbian clientele - under Cuccunelli's view, every one of us is less than full human and a deserving target of discrimination. One can only believe that Cuccinelli's action will embolden some homophobes who see his letter as a green light to do harm to LGBT citizens.
The following are highlights from a statement I received via e-mail from the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus late Friday afternoon:
"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."
According to Metro Weekly, one Virginia Tech dean is not cowed by Cuccinelli. Here are highlights:
Dr. Karen DePauw, the vice president and dean for graduate education at Virginia Tech, said on Friday that regardless of the letter, ''We will continue to have an open and inclusive environment for the grad school, I am confident of that.
''I cannot speak for the whole university because I have not seen the letter and we haven't had a chance to talk about it,'' she said. ''As vice president and dean for graduate education, I anticipate and am hopeful that we will have a thorough discussion before we take any final action.''
LGBT Virginians are citizens of the United States who deserve equal protection under the law and freedom from religious based discrimination because they do not live their lives in accordance with certain Christianist beliefs. A number of U.S. District Courts have held that discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal under the U.S. Constitution and it's time for the Virginia Supreme Court to put an end to such discrimination. It has that opportunity with a case now pending before it at this very moment.