Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hurt Backs Cuccinelli in Discrimination Flap

By now, you've probably heard about AG Ken Cuccinelli's reprehensible letter to Virginia's colleges and universities, in which he declared that they cannot prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. You may have also heard about the less publicized (but just as nonsensical) decision by Gov. McDonnell last month to strip gay and lesbian state workers of anti-discrimination protections afforded by the two previous governors.

What you may not have heard about is Sen. Robert Hurt's stance on what is rapidly becoming an embarrassment for the whole Commonwealth. From the Washington Post, linked above:

Some lawmakers called Cuccinelli's stand consistent with legal opinions offered by past attorneys general, who have advised local governments that they do not have the legal right to add sexual orientation to their policies without authorization from the General Assembly.

"It seems to me that he was trying to get out his legal opinion," said Sen. Robert Hurt (R-Pittsylvania). "It doesn't seem like a clarion call to discriminate against anyone."

There you have it, folks. In a desperate attempt to co-opt the wingnuts and strengthen his Tea Party cred, Sen. Hurt has planted his feet firmly on the wrong side of history.

You know what's really disappointing about this? I grew up in this area and Robert Hurt has represented it in various ways for almost a decade. I've never agreed with him about much of anything, but I've always kind of liked the guy. He never seemed like the culture warrior type; he always came off as a fairly bright, rational individual. The fact that he appeared sane was what made him such a strong candidate. But recently, he's allowing himself to drift closer and closer to the shores of Loony Land. If he's not careful, he'll crash on the rocks.

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