VIRGINIA: Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe Signs LGBT Rights Executive Order, Vows To Veto “Bathroom Bill”

The Washington Blade reports:

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Thursday signed an executive order that bans anti-LGBT discrimination among state employees, contractors and subcontractors. “Today’s executive order is a huge leap forward in our goal toward becoming a state that is a safe, welcoming and equal place for all Virginians,” said Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish in a press release. “We are grateful for the continued leadership demonstrated by Gov. McAuliffe on gay and transgender issues.”

“This policy is simply good business practice — taxpayers should expect that their money will not be used to support organizations that discriminate,” he added. The first executive order that McAuliffe issued upon taking office in 2014 banned discrimination against LGBT state employees. Virginia’s statewide anti-discrimination law does not include sexual orientation and gender identity.

And from the Roanoke Times:

Gov. Terry McAuliffe vowed Wednesday to veto any legislation he receives from Virginia lawmakers similar to North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill.” His statement comes one day after Del. Bob Marshall, R-Prince William, prefiled the Physical Privacy Act. The bill stipulates people must use the restroom, locker room or changing room that corresponds to the gender assigned at birth as opposed to the gender with which they identify. The measure would apply to restrooms located in public schools, universities and government buildings.

Asked about the proposal after an unrelated event Wednesday at Virginia Tech, McAuliffe said he would strike down all legislation that inhibits anyone’s individual rights. “Stay away from the socially divisive issues,” he said to legislators. “We are not going to put a wall up around Virginia.” Marshall said he doesn’t introduce legislation based what McAuliffe likes and doesn’t like. Virginia would be lucky to be as business-friendly and collect as much tax revenue as its neighbor to the south, Marshall said.

  • Cerberus

    Oh thank Bob for Gov. McAuliffe. Though I continue to bristle at every single bill involving trans folks being referred to a bathroom bill no matter what.

    Like, yes, bathroom access is a critically important human right and there’s a reason nearly every marginalized group has had to at some point or another have a big and public fight for bathroom access or equality owing to bigots using it as a tool to oppress. Like, it’s a biological need and not having access to it makes it almost impossible to function in spaces where that access is restricted or made hostile.

    But this evil bill is evil because it would force teachers to out their trans kids or be imprisoned. And if the bigots are allowed to spin that as just being “concerned about the safety of kids in bathrooms” and have media get lazy and default to that reporting, then they have a lot easier time passing it through in states with much more hostile governors and elected bodies.

    • stuckinthewoods

      The extreme evil in Marshall’s bill should be acknowledged because of its source. Bob Marshall is the same person of the Marshall-Newman Amendment of 2006, Virginia’s being the most draconian of the state amendments passed in that decade.
      It is lamentable that Virginia is the only state that doesn’t allow any Governor to run for consecutive terms of office. We need him.

      • marshlc

        Virginia is the only state that doesn’t allow any Governor to run for consecutive terms of office
        What could possibly be the justification for such a rule? It seems crazy.

        • stuckinthewoods

          After Independence the Assembly was leery of executive rule and the Governor was appointed by them. In 1851 popular election was allowed but only for one term. Since 2004 it has been debated whether to allow two 4 year terms or one 6 year term, but naturally nothing has been done. The current system does allow the General Assembly to wait out the governor…sound familiar?

    • Marti386

      “Like, yes, bathroom access is a critically important human right and
      there’s a reason nearly every marginalized group has had to at some
      point or another have a big and public fight for bathroom access or
      equality owing to bigots using it as a tool to oppress.”

      That’s a good point. Because we’ve fought this fight before. And it was pretty loathsome the first time around.

      Denying people proper restroom access is denying their basic humanity. It’s like saying you’re only 3/5ths of a human being.

      Also (slightly off topic), while I was posting this photo, I noticed that the restrooms are listed as “men”, “women” and then “colored”.

      Apparently black people were supposed to share one restroom, regardless of sex. Funny how they weren’t concerned with the “safety and privacy” of people of color.

      Safety. It’s a cis/white only thing.

      • Robin518

        Women didn’t really matter then. Especially if they weren’t pregnant.

  • Bared Bear

    May he be the pea that’ll torment all of the Republican princesses from now until Trump get impeached, Putined, or Cheneyed.

  • Bj Lincoln

    I am so glad VA voted out the GOP ass they had as Gov.. This guy has made traveling so much easier for the wife and I since we live right next door. The problem with Exe. orders is they can be overturned easier than a law.

  • Dutchlander


  • David Walker

    “Virginia would be lucky to be as business-friendly and collect as much tax revenue as its neighbor to the south, Marshall said.” Srsly? Either this honorable delegate is a proponent of the dumbing down of ‘Murka or he is the product of it. Who knew rock bottom had a basement?

    • Beagle

      Some people were put on earth to invent new answers to the question, “How stupid can you get?” Bob Marshall is one of them.

  • clay

    Regarding Marshall’s state tax revenue claims, he’s out of date. The last year for complete data was 2015, when NC’s total state tax revenues were $25bill and VA’s were $20bill, but things changed since then (and since NC’s legal idiocy) Forecasts for 2016 have them running neck and neck, and forecasts for 2017 have Virginia pulling ahead. The same is true for debt– VA’s forecasts are substantially stronger than NC’s

  • There are always points of light in the darkness. Thank you, Governor McAuliffe!

  • Todd20036

    Elections matter. Remember the monster this man defeated.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Not to worry, most people will forget by the time the midterms come around.

      **NOTE: I would LOVE to be wrong, but we all know I’m not.

    • Professor Barnhardt

      I know who that was, but people who do not live in or near Virginia might not recall.

      • Beagle

        Ken Kookinelli, aka “The Kook.” But I lived in his VA Senate district before he became VA Attorney General, so if anything, I qualify as beyond “in or near VA.”

  • kaydenpat

    The importance of having a Democratic Governor once again illustrated.

    • stuckinthewoods

      The importance of our (D) Attorney General Mark Herring can also not be underestimated. Three years ago AG Herring would not defend the Marshall-Newman Marriage Amendment and filed against it in the Fourth Circuit. Gov. McAuliffe is barred by law from seeking a consecutive term but Herring announced he plans to run for re-election as AG (rather than Gov.)

      • kaydenpat

        Shame that he’s not planning to run as Governor. Perhaps he will change his mind.

  • RNegron

    The Pee Pee Act. How appropriate!

  • Leo

    The suddenly VERY blue metropolitan areas, specifically most of NoVa, saved the rest of Virginia (most of which is still VERY red) from the most socially conservative ticket I’d argue in our COUNTRY’s history. Ugly race though – I remember Herring’s recount. So much **** went down that was never reported.

    • HozillaSmallpox

      Totally agree. I live in the VERY red part. We depend on NoVA to come through for us.

  • Goggles

    McAuliffe and his Secretary of the Commonwealth are also committed to restoring voting and other rights of some 230k ex-offenders who have repaid their debt to society. Virginia remains one of only four states that permanently strip such rights from ex-offenders, I believe. Republicans have been fighting that hard because the majority of ex-offenders are black.

    We also unfortunately have horrible voter ID laws meant to further disenfranchise poor folks. Actually getting a state-issued voter ID for folks without a drivers license is a procedural pain to prevent organizations from assisting prospective voters. Non-drivers license IDs are also designed to sunset on an arcane schedule specifically prevent them from being used in two successive presidential elections.

  • Brian in Valdosta

    I certainly applaud this move by Gov. McAuliffe. But we all need to remember that an Executive Order is not a law. When this governor is replaced, this order can quickly be countermanded by another Executive Order.

    The Virginia Legislature needs to enact a law to protect its residents. Hell, the whole damn U.S. Congress needs to pass a law to protect its citizenry.

    • Beagle

      I agree with your basic premise that we need legislature-enacted laws. But the R’s control both houses of the VA Legislature, so Marshall’s bill is more likely to pass than any pro-LGBT civil rights bill. So McAuliffe is doing what he can (3 years after he took office…).

  • karen in kalifornia

    Elections matter.

  • EdA

    I wonder how many Virginia Republicans would REALLY want to emulate the North Carolina experience with “Bathroom Bills”!

  • Lars Littlefield


  • JCF