A Virginia lawmaker today attempted to force a floor vote on a measure barring discrimination in public employment against gays and lesbians. The House voted against consideration of the measure 55-42, the Washington Post reports:
"Del. Ken Plum, a Democrat from Reston, moved to revive the gay-rights bill that had languished in a House subcommittee, saying the legislature must respond to Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's recent advice to the state's public colleges and universities that they had no legal ability to add sexual orientation to their nondiscrimination policies. Cuccinelli has recommended that such statements be rescinded.
'It's particularly timely at this time because the eyes of the nation are upon us,' Plum said.
Del. David Englin (D-Alexandria) also rose to address the House, recalling his parents and grandparents' stories of anti-Semitic discrimination by employers. Englin said the state must act to protect Virginia's reputation as a desirable place to do business because some companies might see the state as intolerant.
'Let there be no mistake – Ken Cuccinelli wants to hang a sign in front of the public colleges and universities of this Commonwealth that reads 'Gays need not apply,'' Englin said."
A motion by Del. Robert Marshall asserting that gays need no special protections "buried" the measure.