John M. Becker

New VA Gov. Terry McAuliffe Restores LGBT Protections

Filed By John M. Becker | January 13, 2014 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Bob McDonnell, executive order, Terry McAuliffe, Virginia, workplace discrimination, workplace fairness

mcauliffe-executive-order.jpgOn Saturday, in a rain-soaked ceremony on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol building in Richmond, Democrat Terry McAuliffe was sworn in as the 72nd governor of Virginia.

In his inaugural address, Gov. McAuliffe made clear that his administration would make a clean break from the anti-LGBT, anti-woman policies of his predecessor, Republican Bob McDonnell:

My administration will work tirelessly to ensure that those opportunities are equal for all of Virginia's children - no matter if you're a girl or a boy, no matter what part of the Commonwealth you live in, no matter your race or religion, and no matter whom you love.

There is still work to do to. We must work to ensure that the children of new immigrants to Virginia have equal educational opportunities. To ensure that someone can't lose a job simply because they are gay. And to ensure that every woman has the right to make her own personal health care decisions.

And McAuliffe wasted no time: in his very first official act as governor, he signed Executive Order Number One, protecting LGBT state employees from workplace discrimination.

As Zack Ford notes at ThinkProgress, McAuliffe's Democratic predecessors -- Sen. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine -- both issued similar executive orders, while McDonnell's administration did not. However, McAuliffe's executive order was the first to include explicit protections for trans people.

Well done, governor. Bravo!

Photo credit: Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch

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