As one of his first official acts in office, Virginia’s new Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, signed four executive orders following his inauguration Saturday. Executive Order #1 restores LGBT employment protection for state workers.
Virginia offered LGBT protections for state employees under Democratic Governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, but they were eliminated under Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, and his gay-phobic attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, whom McAuliffe defeated to become governor. This is the first time however, such an order includes protections for gender identity and expression.
Executive Order #1 fulfills a promise McAuliffe made on the campaign trail. After signing, Governor McAuliffe remarked:
“My administration is committed to keeping Virginia open and welcoming to all who call our commonwealth home. Executive Order Number 1 sets the tone for an administration that will not accept discrimination in any form, and one that will work tirelessly to ensure all Virginians have equal opportunity in the workplace, no matter their backgrounds, race, religion, or whom they love.”