In Virginia, Equality Defeats Extremism with McAuliffe Victory over Cuccinelli

by Charles Joughin

With fair-minded governor-elect poised to take office in the Old Dominion, “anti-equality elected officials who refuse to evolve will find their days are numbered in 2014,” says HRC President Chad Griffin

WASHINGTON – With tonight’s news that pro-equality Democrat Terry McAuliffe defeated vehemently anti-LGBT Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor’s race, Americans got yet another indication that anti-LGBT politics are in full retreat in 2013. Cuccinelli, who had been one of the most vocally anti-LGBT elected officials in the country and who was once widely considered to be a rising star in conservative politics, will find himself out of political office come January.

In response to the news, HRC President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:

“Ken Cuccinelli clearly believed Virginia voters appreciated his constant barrage of anti-LGBT vitriol. He couldn’t have been more wrong. The Old Dominion’s Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike don’t want to see their LGBT neighbors discriminated against, and that’s why Terry McAuliffe’s fair-minded and pro-equality vision for Virginia decisively won the day.

“All around the country, politicians who demonize their LGBT constituents should take notice. The political sands beneath them have shifted, and anti-equality elected officials who refuse to evolve will find their days are numbered in 2014 and beyond.”

HRC endorsed Terry McAuliffe for Governor earlier this year. As the campaign heated up, HRC activated our thousands of members and supporters across the state, and logged countless phone calls and canvass hours for the many Virginia candidates supportive of equality.  Click here for more information on HRC’s election work in Virginia.

During his tenure as Virginia’s Attorney General, Cuccinelli urged public universities to roll back non-discrimination policies and conflated marriage equality and polygamy. He has called being gay “intrinsically wrong,” and argued that it brings about “nothing but self-destruction.”

Suffice it to say, Virginia voters disagree.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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