RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Hundreds rally on the campus of VCU in protest of recent remarks made by Attorney General Ken Cuccinnelli. The State Attorney General is calling for public schools to do away with any policies that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Governor Bob McDonnell weighed in on the issue late this afternoon, issuing an executive directive which essentially counters Cuccinnelli's advice to colleges - directing state agencies not to discriminate against gays.
This was a hot topic today at VCU for hundreds of protestors. VCU students and staff members spoke loud and clear stating discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation will not be tolerated.
"We shouldn't discriminate against people because of gender, race, or anything; we're one people," said junior, Shanda Taylor.
Students say Cuccinnelli's request is un-American and unacceptable.
"If VCU and other institutions are forced to adhere to what he said, we'll have less students coming from other states. We won't be able to keep national competitive faculty and that's critical and it impacts all of us," said junior, Kenwar Ananda.
"It's personal to me because I just came out of the closet, and it's important to me that our voice is heard," said sophomore, Julius Elegido.
Right now, VCU has a policy in effect, a commitment it says, toward providing a nondiscriminatory environment for employees, students and guests. This group is hoping that policy will stay in place.
NBC 12 reached out to the Attorney General's office several times today. None of our calls were returned. At VCU policy is set by the board of visitors. This issue will likely come up at the board's next meeting in May.