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Promoting Discrimination In Virginia

By The Reverend Published: February 23, 2010

One of the elections Republicans love pointing to and braying about, along with the election of GOP President, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, is the recent Virginia election for governor.

The Republican, Bob McDonnell, won that Viginia election for governor by a wide margin....and along with the New Jersey GOP governor win....many conservatives, and virtually all media Villagers, started trumpeting the end of the Obama era (a whole 1 year) and the return of Republicans and conservatives to power.

In one of his first acts as Virginia's governor, McDonnell.....

...on Feb. 5 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," as well as veterans.

Prohibiting discrimination is a good thing and it's good to see a Republican executive take a stand on the state of Virginia's hiring practices.

Or is it?

What Gov. McDonnell did in issuing his non-discrimination statement was rescind the previous 2006 non-discrimination executive order by former Democratic Governor, Tim Kaine. Gov. Kaine's 2006 executive order included a prohibition against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

According to Talking Points Memo, in 2006, former Governor Kaine added two new groups to Virginia's can't-discriminate-against list......veterans and gays. The new Virginia Republican Governor McDonnell kept the veterans on the protected list.....but scratched the gays off the list. Now in Virginia, gays can be openly discriminated against by state officials. Sexual orientation can now be a question on job applications in Virginia.....AND...the state can refuse to hire a gay Virginia citizen simply because he or she is gay.

Village media and conservative wishful thinkers have just been gleeful about the New Jersey and Virginia governor wins by the GOP. That's understandable really. When you look at the long downward slide the Republican Party has taken over the last 6-8 years, how the GOP was trounced so badly in 2006 and 2008.....it's perfectly understandable for conservatives, and the Village media who adores them, to get excited about even a glimmer of electoral hope.

But, then......with GOP Governor Bob McDonnell's openly discriminatory executive order...... the rest of America, you know, the majority,....are quickly reminded why it is that the Republican Party is so unpopular. It's the hate....and the division that it brings with it.

Governor McDonnell is carrying the Karl Rove banner onward......the same hateful banner that produced 17 discriminatory state initiatives (regrettably, one in Ohio) in 2004's general election. Those 17 gay-bashing state referendums were placed on ballots in 2004.....and pay close attention here......specifically for the purpose of INCENTIVIZING conservatives to come out and vote for George W. Bush. Rovian Republican strategy, as we're seeing now again with Gov. McDonnell of Virginia, includes baiting voters with hate.

What does Governor McDonnell acomplish, really, by striking down his predecessor's all-inclusive prohibition against discrimination? Sure, Virginia employers who hate gays, can feel justified now that they're not violating any state rules when they openly discriminate against qualified applicants who happen to be gay. Small consolation for small minds, I guess.

What, I think, Gov. McDonnell's new executive order really does is send a message to all those other American haters out there. The message is: 'Republicans are resurgent, and so is the hate'....'we're back, and we're just as hateful'....'be proud to be a hater.'

All this, naturally, is tragic. Many conservatives, who normally vote Republican, do not embrace this gay-bashing hate. Many conservatives, whom I disagree with on a daily basis over other policy issues, do not accept blanket hiring discrimination against gay Americans. I expect that many conservatives will disagree with what Gov. McDonnell ordered, even though, apparently, he has the legal right to do so.

When you couple Gov. McDonnell's executive order to openly discriminate against gays.....with the conservative Hate-a-thon last weekend at the CPAC convention where John Birch Society vendors were warmly welcomed and Hispanic Americans openly bashed and ridiculed.....this question comes to mind.....

Who...other than haters....would want anything to do with today's conservative movement?

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