Post hoc, ergo propter hoc? Last night, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart broadcast a pretty devastating take-down of the anti-gay initiatives being undertaken by the new governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, and his anti-gay attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli.
Now, the Daily Show did not get the context exactly correct: Cuccinelli and McDonnell aren't that close, and McDonnell has been advised to avoid being associated with some of Cuccinelli's moral badgering. (See here.) Based, he said, on Cuccinelli's advice, McDonnell amended an executive order barring state employees from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and removed that clause.
While the separation of powers doctrine precludes the Governor from changing the Virginia Human Rights Act via Executive Order, he wants to be clear that discrimination in state employment will not be tolerated. As the chief executive officer for the Commonwealth, the Governor wants to establish a clear standard of conduct ensuring that all cabinet members, agency heads, managers, supervisors and employees of the Executive Branch understand and enforce state and federal law prohibiting employment discrimination. Independent agencies and state supported colleges and universities should likewise adopt a similar standard of conduct.Note the mention of "state supported colleges." That's a direct repudiation, it seems, of Cuccinelli's opinion that state supported colleges must respect the government's anti-discrimination policies, which, for a brief period until today, noticeably did not include protection for gay people.