Democratic Party of Virginia Executive Director David Mills released the following statement Wednesday regarding Gov. Bob McDonnell's attempt to distance himself from the brewing controversy over Virginia's discrimination policy:
While we applaud the administrative gesture made by Governor McDonnell today, his non-binding statement of policy does little to protect Virginians from discrimination. The Governor is instituting half-measures necessitated by political crisis, and the time for these games is over. We call on Governor McDonnell to definitively and permanently eliminate the threat that discrimination poses to the lives, jobs, and welfare of all Virginians.
Rather than play legal games, Governor McDonnell should just send down a bill that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Under Governors Warner and Kaine, Virginia became the best state for business by enacting the tolerant policies that attract world-class employers to our Commonwealth. No matter how many administrative gestures he makes, the fact remains that Bob McDonnell and his [Attorney General] Ken Cuccinelli have rolled back protections against discrimination.
UPDATE: Sen. Donald McEachin's statement.
I welcome and commend the governor on his directive. However, we will not quit the struggle until no Virginian has to live in anticipation of a gubernatorial directive or in fear of an Attorney General letter. The fight will go on until we can codify into Virginia law that each and every Virginian deserves equal rights, equal opportunity, fairness and justice. As in the civil right struggle of the last century, we appreciate every step forward, but our goal is to ensure that all barriers are toppled and all hurdles are dismantled.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Virginians from across the Commonwealth and especially those who are part of our college and university families. Their willingness to stand up and be counted, their intolerance for hatred and bigotry has made all the difference. They have demonstrated to the governor by their generosity of spirit that they want to live in a Virginia where all are welcome and all can expect to be judged on their merit and their character, not on other insignificant criteria.
I promise to continue this effort. We may have succeeded for now, but we have more to do and, together, we will accomplish it.