Not very southern gentlemanly of me, but we are really getting past the time when anybody should tolerate or pull punches on what the recently installed (Jan. 15) governor of Virginia, Robert McDonnell, has pulled. Since the late 1960s, every new incoming governor of Virginia has issued within 24 hours a proclamation outlawing discrimination in hiring in state government offices. Initially triggered by the issue of racial discrimination, the list of reasons for which discrimination in employment by the Commonwealth has expanded to include gender, religion, ethnicity, political opinion, and disability not related to job performance, if I have not left something out. The two most recent governors added "sexual orientation" to this list.
However, Governor McDonnell took nearly a month to issue his proclamation, and it removes this last item from the list. I see no justification under any grounds for such discrimination, none, meaning that this unpleasant label of homophobic bigot applies to this politician. Clearly it is him returning to his roots at Regent University, founded by the Pat Robertson, who blamed 9/11 on the US tolerating gays and lesbians, and the earthquake in Haiti on their supposed love of voodoo. Yes, it says in the Old Testament that gays should be stoned to death, but it also says the same thing about disobedient children and married couples who have sex while the wife is having a period. Furthermore, the Bible clearly tolerates slavery and the oppression of women, and if one accepts the argument that Africans are the descendants of Ham, then their enslavement, a point emphasized by many Protestant preachers in the US South when slavery was prevalent there. The Bible is no excuse for denigrating human beings and unfairly discriminating against them in employment. This despicable conduct should be labeled what it is: immoral bigotry.