There’s a longer thread about this over at Pam’s (and this post is based on my comment there), but here’s the gist: the governor of Virginia issued a sexual orientation non-discrimiation policy via executive order.
By virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor, I hereby declare that it is the firm unwavering policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia to assure equal opportunity in all facets of state government. This policy specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities.
Yes, the policy is of the Barney Frank – HRC variety: completely trans-free.
A man – presumably non-trans – who worked for the state Museum of Natural History until being fired (“forced to involuntarily resign”) attempted to utilize the policy. However, the state AG is backing the Museum, saying that the governor didn’t have the power to issue such an order – at least in terms of it providing a private right of action for an aggrieved party.
OK – I smell christianist opportunism oozing from every pore of this AG. However, like it or not, he’s probably right as to gubernatorial authority. Its not as if Tim Kaine would be the first governor to have such a policy shot down. It happened to Tom Vilsack in Iowa back in 2000.
Of course, the scope of Vilsack’s order was legitimate: it covered gender identity as well as sexual orientation.
If the Virginia AG is actually not a christianist opportunist and just wants to end the litigation over Gov. Kaine’s policy, might I suggest a change in legal strategy. As I suggested at Pam’s:
Just change the museum’s position to the following:
We think Moore is transgender and, therefore, not covered by the policy even if the policy is valid so, therefore, we can fire him at will.
Summary judgment for the Museum.
Case closed – courtesy of the Barney Frank-HRC vision of what an acceptable non-discrimination policy is.
Get ready for the 2009 ENDA fight.
I’m doing so.
I’m buying stock in Astroglide.
When what I know is going to happen happens, I want to make a buck off of it.