Virginia Gov. Takes Away Gay Protections

With a subtle omission of a few words, Gov. Bob McDonnell removed a protection for discriminating against gay and lesbian state workers in Virginia. On Feb. 5, the Republican governor signed an executive order that prohibits discrimination “on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities,” and veterans. Sexual orientation was omitted. The protection had been in place for four years, since McDonnell's predecessor, Gov. Tim Kaine (D), signed it into law as one of his first acts in office. The reversal comes on the heels of the state senate’s passing a bill to protect state workers from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.