Saturday, March 6, 2010

Another Swing at Gays from Cuccinelli

Virginia Democratic powerhouse Dick Cranwell brought the ruling into proper perspective: "This is the ultimate act of big government. I'm always amazed at these apostles of less government. As soon as they get elected, they want to micromanage the state government." (That's elaborated on here and here.)

Cranwell, the former uber-partisan majority leader of House of Delegates Democrats until he was gerrymandered out of his seat by Repubs and is now the party's state chairman, was addressing the latest human rights atrocity by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. This right-wing dim bulb has shown that his early focus will be a laser beam aimed at putting gay people back into the closet and taking away every ounce of equality (and it's measured in ounces) they've gained over three decades.

Cuccinelli's most recent ruling (apparently with the full blessing of Virginia's short military governor and certainly with the approval of its 14th Century House of Delegates) is that state colleges and universities do not have permission from their superiors (the General Assembly, one would assume, though this body is hardly superior to anything with a heartbeat--or a heart) to grant what he'd categorize as "special privileges" to gays and lesbians. Special privileges is what those opposed to gay equality categorize as the rights you--as a presumed hetrosexual--have.

Those legal-beagle types who insist that gays have the same rights as everybody else--under the Constitution's "Equal Protection" clause--are right in theory, but theory never got anything done. One does not assume the best of the intentions one's fellow man and woman. It ain't happenin' because of mis-read religious teaching (some of which equates being gay with being a podophile and engaging in necrophilia and bestiality, the equivalent of saying that because you're a soldier, you kill and eat babies), cultural bias and bad parents.

Getting past what this ruling says about Virginia being a participant in the 21st Century, let's simply look at its implications for recruiting forward-looking companies to the Commonwealth, not to mention bringing in top-level educators. Companies consider the political atmosphere their workers will face in a state and a locality. The good ones care and will go where that is best. Same for teachers, students and workers.

Cuccinelli is giving us a Third World backwater reputation (think Texas, outside Austin) that will be hard to shake and my guess is that one of the monetary rewards for the decency Virginia has shown to its citizens over the past few years (the AAA bond rating) could be looking at a real challenge from this type of ruling. Being an idiot has its penalties.

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