Read Ken Cuccinelli's letter to university and college presidents.
In a letter to presidents of Virginia colleges and universities, Attorney General Ken Kuccinelli said that these insititutions do not have the authority to enforce non-discrimination against their LGBT students.
“It is my advice that the law and public policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia prohibit a college or university from including “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” “gender expression,” or like classification, as a protected class within its non-discrimination policy, absent specific authorization from the General Assembly,” Kuccinelli wrote.
He wrote that colleges have implemented these policies have done so without proper authorizations. Read the full text of his letter here.
“Attorney General Cuccinelli clearly doesn’t understand that his radical actions are putting Virginia at risk of losing both top students and faculty, and discouraging prospective ones from coming here,” Jon Blair, CEO of Equality Virginia, said in a statement.
The Commonwealth’s top schools already include non-discrimination language in their policies to remain globally competitive.
“They call it legal advice for a reason. I urge the university boards to get a second opinion before they take action that will adversely affect their ability to attract and retain the best and the brightest students,” said Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, who serves as General Counsel to Equality Virginia.
Blair also calls for Governor McDonnell to take a stand on these issues.
“It is time that Governor McDonnell come out from hiding and rein in Mr. Cuccinelli before his embarrassing and regressive actions permanently damage the reputation, educational system and competitiveness of our great Commonwealth. It is the least we can expect from a Governor who supposedly opposes discrimination,” Blair stated.
The ACLU has also responded to the Cuccinelli’s letter reminding institutions that non-discrimination is a Constitutional right and is prepared to represent any victims.