VA Attorney General Cuccinelli Not Backing Down on Gay Policy
Va Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli March 12 2010"What I said in my March 4 letter was accurate advice under Virginia law, and it still stands," Cuccinelli said in brief comments to reporters after addressing lawmakers on an unrelated issue. Universities, he said, "don't have any more authority than the General Assembly gives them, which is a similar position as the localities. And until the General Assembly gives them more authority, they're quarantined by what they've got."
Va Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli Stands by Legal Advice to State Campuses
In Virginia , the state's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said Friday that he is standing firm in his legal advice to state public colleges and universities that language dealing with sexual orientation ought to be removed from campus anti-discrimination policies.
Many college students and faculty believed the letter was nothing less than an attempt to set back the clock on gay rights.
But in a brief public statement to press on Friday after the conflict Cuccinelli stated that he continues to believe the institutions are limited in their ability to adopt such policies without authority from the General Assembly.
The state legislature has repeatedly failed to pass legal protections for gay men and lesbians into Virginia codes for state colleges.
Va Governor Backed Down After Campus Outrage
In a gesture of surrender after campus uproar across the state , Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) issued an executive directive to state workforces warning that discrimination on any grounds, including sexual orientation, will face reprimand or termination.
Cuccinelli said he is not contesting the Governor's directive, but that it is non-legally binding. Nor was he surprised at campus uproar, saying the tradition was "an old one".
Jon Blair, executive director of the gay rights advocacy group Equality Virginia asked McDonnell on Friday to appoint a special counsel to enforce his directive.
Blair said Cuccinelli's position on the issue makes him and his staff unable to offer legal services on the issue.
In a letter to the governor, Blair thanked McDonnell for his directive, which he called a "real step forward," but asked that governor go beyond what Blair termed its "largely symbolic promise" by pushing for legal protections in Virginia code.