INTERVIEW: Gay rights groups unhappy with McDonnell decisions

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Virginia's Governor Bob McDonnell has drawn the ire of gay rights groups after two, controversial decisions in the early days of his administration. McDonnell withdrew a plan to extend benefits to the partners of same sex employees and removed the term "sexual orientation" from the state's non discrimination policy.

Both moves were opposed by the group Equality Virginia, and their CEO, Jon Blair. He joined NBC12 on First at Four to explain why.

See the video at right for the full interview.

Q: The plan initially proposed by Governor Kaine that would've extended benefits to domestic partners. The governor and the attorney general indicated that this was too broad of a move for the executive branch to do all by themselves. Do you feel like that is a good excuse?

Q: But we have a legislative process for a reason. This issue can easily be handled by the General Assembly, why not push for its passage there?

Q: Now to this non-discrimination policy. The McDonnell administration claims that thousands of gay people serve openly in state government without any problems. If that is the case, why is this necessary?

Q: How much does all of this debate have to do with push to legalize gay marriage? Is that one of the reasons you are pushing so hard for these smaller measures as a way to get to that ultimate goal?

Q: What are your feelings about Governor Tim Kaine's sincerity to get this measure passed? He knew the feelings of the incoming government, why did it choose to wait until the end of his term to offer this proposal?

(c) 2010. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.