VA Gov. Issues Anti-Discrimination Directive With No Teeth

by HRC Staff

HRC calls for inclusive executive order and legislative action to address discrimination against public employees.

Washington - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today responded to a directive issued by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell that on its face seems to counter recent anti-LGBT actions by the state's Attorney General. Yet as worded, the Governor's directive lacks teeth to address the very real problem of discrimination and does not give Virginia's LGBT state employees any more protections than the U.S. Constitution already provides. As hundreds of cities and counties, 21 states and hundreds of private companies across the United States have already determined, it is absolutely necessary to have laws and policies that clearly and explicitly protect LGBT people by prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, and by providing clear mechanisms to report such discrimination.

"No one should be fooled by the Governor's directive," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "While it is a positive step to acknowledge that employment discrimination is a challenge faced by LGBT Virginians, public employees remain vulnerable without an inclusive executive order or law passed by the legislature."

HRC launched an action alert to Virginia residents today calling on them to ask Gov. McDonnell to reinstate protections for LGBT employees by executive order and to push the state legislature to enact legislation that would provide clear and consistent protections for all employees in Virginia. The action alert is available at: and further coverage of the issue is on HRC's blog at

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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