Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe
said Wednesday that signing an LGBT protections executive order would
be a top priority of his administration.
McAuliffe defeated his Tea Party-backed
Republican rival Ken Cuccinelli, the state's attorney general, on
Tuesday to secure the Virginia governor's mansion.
In addressing a group of supporters
after his win, McAuliffe repeated his support for gay rights: “Over
the next four years, most Democrats and Republicans in Virginia want
to make Virginia a model for pragmatic leadership that is friendly to
job creation. A model for strong schools that prepare our students
for the jobs of tomorrow. A model for welcoming the best and
brightest scientists and innovators, no matter your race, gender,
religion or whom you love.”
On Wednesday, McAuliffe pledged he
would issue a gay-inclusive executive order prohibiting workplace
discrimination in state employment, a practice made common by the
state's last two Democratic governors before Republican Governor Bob
McDonnell was elected in 2009. McDonnell's February 5, 2010 order
stripped out protections for gay and lesbian state employees.
“I will make sure that every single
individual in the Commonwealth of Virginia is treated fair and
equal,” he said during his first press conference.
In contrast, Cuccinelli and his running
mate E.W. Jackson strongly opposed gay rights.
Jackson defends anti-gay remarks.)