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Governor Candidate Refuses to Protect Gays

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Bob McDonnell, a leading Republican candidate in Virginia's gubernatorial race, said Tuesday he would not renew an executive order issued by the state's last two governors that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation for state job applicants.

"I think it would be illegal to carry it forward," McDonnell said in an interview with Virginia's The News & Advance.

McDonnell believes that employment discrimination should be an issue handled by the general assembly, not the governor.

Despite not supporting an executive order, the Republican front-runner claimed that, "there will be no discrimination in the office of governor," reported The News & Advance.

McDonnell previously made headlines when in September his 1989 graduate thesis criticizing working women, contraception, and gays was circulated to press outlets.

In the paper, titled "The Republican Party's Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of the Decade," a then-34-year-old McDonnell wrote, "Man's basic nature is inclined towards evil, and when the exercise of liberty takes the shape of pornography, drug abuse, or homosexuality, the government must restrain, punish, and deter," according to The Washington Post.

State senator Creigh Deeds, his Democratic opponent, said in a depate on Monday that he would keep the protection. He also cosponsored a bill in 2008 that would have prohibited discrimination based on several factors, one of which was sexual orientation.

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