: News

McDonnell Directive Counters Advice From Attorney General

Play associated audio

By Rebecca Blatt

Virginia's Governor Bob McDonnell has directed state agencies not to discriminate against gay people, essentially overriding the state attorney general's advice to public colleges.

Last week Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli advised public universities to rescind policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Cuccinelli said they couldn't create such policies because state law did not extend protection to gays and lesbians.

In his executive directive, McDonnell countered, saying the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution prohibits discrimination based on factors such as one's sexual orientation.

Kent Willis directs the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia.

"That kind of message means a lot," says Willis. "It trumps the kind of bias that takes place in the workplace, sometimes subtle sometimes not so subtle."

Willis says he was surprised by the move, in part because McDonnell did not include sexual orientation in a previous executive order banning discrimination in the state workforce.

"His executive directive reverses that 180 degrees," he says.

But while Willis calls the move a step forward for McDonnell, he says the state still has a lot of work to do to eliminate discrimination in the workplace.

NPR

No Longer Omar: Actor Michael K. Williams On Lucky Breaks And Letting Go

Over the course of his career, Williams says he's learned to separate himself from his characters (like The Wire's Omar). In HBO's The Night Of, he plays a powerful prison inmate named Freddy.
NPR

#FoodPorn, Circa 1600s: Then And Now, It Was More About Status Than Appetite

A new study of old masters finds that capturing and showing off decadent and expensive meals is a decidedly old-fashioned practice. Like today's Instagrammers, it was all about projecting an image.
WAMU 88.5

The Legality Of Restoring Virginia Voting Rights

Virginia's governor is bypassing the commonwealth's Supreme Court ruling and restoring felon voting rights individually. Kojo examines Terry McAuliffe's move with a legal expert.

NPR

The Big Internet Brands Of The '90s — Where Are They Now?

Verizon's purchase of Yahoo will close the book on one of the oldest Internet companies. What happened to the other famous 90s brands, like GeoCities, Netscape and CompuServe? A nerdy remembrance.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.