Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cuccinelli Follows the Law, While McDonnell Follows the Polls

Last week it was revealed that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli sent a directive to the state universtities informing them they were stepping outside the bounds of the law to have non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation. This created an immediate firestorm from both sides of the aisle. All the usual suspects yelled bigot, and turning back the clock, and sadly even Republicans came out against the Attorney General's call to obey the rule of law. A prominent College Republican leader (Cole Usry of Christopher Newport University) organized early protests against the Attorney General, and prominent Republican blogs have come out against the Attorney General. One blog even suggested he could kiss future political aspirations good buy as a result of this. Honestly the reaction to the Attorney General's decision has been heavily based on emotion. To my knowledge no one has made the case that Ken Cuccinelli is incorrect in his interpretation of the law. All this blowback resulted because Ken Cuccinelli made good on his campaign promise to "enforce the rule of law."

In response to this firestorm Governor Bob McDonnell is trying to placate the left by issuing "Executive Directive #1." First of all an executive directive is different from an executive order. This is a legally nonbinding statement reminding state agencies that “employment discrimination for any reason other than merit and ability has no place in state government”. The reaction to the Executive Directive has been generally positive, especially from the left. However the VA Family Foundation sent out an e-mail expressing their concern with the directive and noted as troubling the positive statements the ACLU made about it.

Probably the most stinging rebuke to the Governor came from a long time supporter, and social conservative leader, Dr. Mike Farris. Dr. Farris gave the Washington Post a very blunt statement on the issue.

"I think this action is incredibly disappointing, to the point of being shocking," said Michael P. Farris, the chancellor of Patrick Henry College, a private Christian college in Loudoun County. "The deeper message it sends is that people who think homosexuality is a sin are wrong. They are irrational."

Farris, a lawyer and constitutional scholar who ran for lieutenant governor in 1993, said he thinks McDonnell's policy statement will be used in courts to help challenge Virginia's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which McDonnell supported. "I don't think the people advising him were doing anything other than reading polls," Farris said.

I am proud of Ken Cuccinelli for standing up for the law no matter how politically incorrect it may be. I also have to side with Dr. Farris in expressing my disappointment in Governor McDonnell. If you can't stand up for traditional values when the law is on your side and the General Assembly is with you, when can you?

Let's hope the governor will follow through on his promise to defund Planned Parenthood. That is something he can do single handedly, and if he doesn't do that this year, can social conservatives ever hope he will fight for us?

UPDATE:: As always Tim Boyer, a good friend of this blog, is willing to call it like it is, and has some similar thoughts on this topic along with some thoughts on the possible political reasons for McDonnell's actions.

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