DPVA Chair Dick Cranwell pointed to the irony of these "less government people using government to further a social agenda" and to "micromanage the entire state of Virginia." Cranwell remarked that this is "not in [Cuccinelli's] job description" and recommended that it's time for Bob McDonnell to "rein him in." Cranwell said that Cuccinelli should be focusing on how to hold down the cost of tuition rather than micromanage the college system "from the Attorney General's office." Cranwell added that Cuccinelli's refusal to confirm or deny his own memo is not exactly a sign of "open government." Cranwell concluded, "who knows what Cuccinelli is going to do next?"
Del. Ken Plum predicted that this is going to end up costing Virginia jobs. For instance, Northrop-Grumman has strong corporate policies for GLBT employees, and Cuccinelli's actions are not going to make Virginia more attractive to that company. Also, piling a social agenda on top of our colleges will not motivate any big corporations who are thinking about relocating here.
Sen. Donald McEachin said that we aren't surprised about Cuccinelli's actions, that essentially he is "living the thesis...governing by the thesis."
Sen. Louise Lucas said that we've known for a long time what Cuccinelli's legislative priorities were. So, although this is not surprising, she is "totally upset" by it. Lucas agreed with Plum that "this is going to cost us a lot of jobs."
UPDATE: Add Mark Warner to the list of Cooch condemners:
I am puzzled why the Attorney General would authorize our public colleges and universities to discriminate.
A decision on whether to hire, promote or offer admission should be based on whether or not the individual is qualified – period.
I believe the Attorney General’s advice will hurt the ability of our colleges and universities to attract the very best faculty, staff and students, and damage the Commonwealth’s reputation for academic excellence and diversity.
UPDATE #2: See Rich Anthony's condemnation here.
UPDATE #3: The Virginia Young Democrats weigh in as well.
In just the first two months of the McDonnell, Bolling and Cuccinelli administration, we have gotten the message again and again that members of the LGBT community are no longer welcome in state employment,” said Sean Holihan, president of the Virginia Young Democrats. “Instead of playing politics with jobs, Bob McDonnell, Bill Bowling, and Ken Cuccinelli should focus on actually creating them.”
“The McDonnell, Bolling, and Cuccinelli administration have it backwards: meddling in our universities’ internal affairs hurts Virginian schools," said Lauren Gilbert, College Caucus Chair of the Virginia Young Democrats. "Allowing our colleges to hire the best talent - regardless of sexual orientation - makes our schools better. Between scaring away good professors and cutting the higher education budget, McDonnell, Bolling, and Cuccinelli are putting their personal prejudices ahead of what’s best for Virginia schools."
UPDATE #4: A few more quotes from Democratic State Senators.
Mary Margaret Whipple: "Virginia is the proud home to world class colleges and universities who can determine appropriate discrimination policies for themselves. 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."
Dick Saslaw: "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."
John Edwards: "Attorney General Cuccinelli is turning the clock back on civil rights in Virginia. His advice to Virginia’s colleges and universities has no basis in the law."