State may have pushed LGBT policy change

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March 2, 2010

2:40 AM

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has allegedly advised the College of William and Mary to remove language that would protect against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation from College policy.

Maryland State Senator Richard Madaleno, Jr. (D) described Cuccinelli’s alleged actions in a letter to the Chief Executive Officer of the Northrop Grumman Corporation, one of the country’s largest global security providers, Feb. 25.

“Virginia’s new Attorney General is reportedly seeking to have Virginia’s universities rescind their policies banning discrimination based on sexual orientation,” Madelano wrote in the letter.

The Northrop Grumman Corporation is deciding whether to house its new headquarters in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia.

These allegations come weeks after the College’s Faculty Assembly voted to extend its anti-discrimination policy to protect transsexual, transgendered and gender-neutral faculty and students. The College’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities already protects against discrimination based on gender, sex and sexual orientation. College President Taylor Reveley is currently reviewing the request.

The College could not confirm whether the Office of the Attorney General, which serves as legal counsel to the College, had advised the College about gender discrimination policy. Legal counsel is protected under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act.

“With or without the clarification, William and Mary does not discriminate or harass anyone because of their sex, gender identity or sexual orientation,” College spokesman Brian Whitson said in an e-mail.
While the College is taking steps to expand its anti-discrimination policy, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell struck language that would protect discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation from Virginia’s bylaws.

The Office of the Attorney General could not be reached for comment.

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