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Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, who recently declined to include LGBT protections for state workers in an executive order, said Thursday that he did not see the need to write such protections into law because he does not believe there is any "rampant discrimination" that shows a "real problem" in the state.
When McDonnell declined to include LGBT protections in his executive order, he said the move would require approval from the general assembly but kept it unclear whether he would ever sign such a law if passed. According to The Washington Post, he indicated Thursday that he would not support a nondiscrimination law:
"Asked today on the 'Ask the Governor' program at Richmond's WRVA radio whether he would sign such legislation, he said, 'I don't know that we need it based on the numbers that I've seen.'
"He added: 'There really isn't any rampant discrimination on any basis in Virginia. If you're going to have a law, it needs to actually address a real problem.'"
Earlier this month Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli wrote to public universities in the state and asked them to rescind nondiscrimination policies that mentioned sexual orientation. In response to campus uproar, McDonnell then issued an unenforceable executive directive that said public employees who discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation would face sanctions. At the time, the governor said he could not provide legal protections without legislative approval.