“Virginia is for lovers” – how long was that used as a tourism boast there? Yet it was the place that generated Loving v. Virginia, a case that eventually struck down bans on interracial marriage.

Over at Michael-In-Norfolk’s pad, he discusses how the sweep of homophobic pols into office last year, including bigot Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, has resulted in an even more aggressive anti-gay turn.

Virginia’s new Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, has undertaken his first step to implement his extreme homophobic views on gay Virginians. Cuccinelli, who is merely a more polished version of Fred Phelps, but equally crazy, has killed a state regulatory change to allow government employees to add same-sex partners to their state health benefits. Sadly, under the new GOP administration at the top of the state government in Virginia, I very much fear that LGBT Virginians will face a modern day equivalent of the Jim Crow laws whenever and wherever Cuccinelli can do so. The man is utterly incapable of separating his own personal 13th century religious beliefs from the concept of secular civil laws. It’s going to be a long four years with Cuccinelli in the AG’s office and Taliban Bob as Governor. Here are some highlights from the Virginian Pilot:

On the advice of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a proposed state regulatory change to allow government employees to add same-sex partners to their state health benefits has been withdrawn from consideration. The suggested policy change from Democratic former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine became public in December in the waning days of his term, eliciting support from gay groups and condemnation from social conservatives.

…When it was revealed in December, Kaine’s proposed change drew plaudits from the state’s Log Cabin Republicans, a gay and lesbian political group, and groans from Virginia’s Family Foundation, a social conservative group. At the time, Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb called it a partisan shot from the outgoing Kaine. On Sunday, group spokesman Chris Freund expressed satisfaction that what he deemed an attempt to circumvent the legislative process had been thwarted.

Cucuinnelli was asked to comment on the proposed change, he said his “objections are based on law, not his personal conservative beliefs.” WTF?

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding