Community News Politics — 12 March 2010

Council takes stand against Cuccinelli opinion

The City Council Tuesday decided to draft an official resolution reinforcing the citys commitment to human rights after Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli opined last week that gay state workers are not protected from discrimination under Virginia law. 

The decision, which sparked protests in Richmond, sparked a discussion at City Hall as well.

At a time when we keep talking about how important jobs are in the Commonwealth that we would have elected officials essentially putting into place policies that send a pretty clear picture to the business communities and others that we dont want any kind of tolerance or acceptance in our work places in Virginia is wrong, Councilman Rob Krupicka said.

He added that the law is anti-business at its base, if not also inappropriate and immoral.

Councilman Frank Fannon said Cuccinelli was simply interpreting Virginia law, not making it. 

Theres just all these laws at the state level that we have to make sure we follow I guess, Fannon said.

Council members directed the citys Office of Human Rights to draft a resolution that may be signed by regional neighbors as well to reinforce the citys and regions commitment to equality for all. 

The statewide controversy prompted Gov. Bob McDonnell  to issue an executive directive Wednesday, stating, Employment discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated by this administration. Consistent with state and federal law, and the Virginia and United States Constitutions, I hereby direct that the hiring, promotion, compensation, treatment, discipline, and termination of state employees shall be based on an individuals job qualifications, merit and performance.

The directive does not make the statement law.  

Councilman Paul Smedberg said the original decision was against the very basic level of human decency and forced people to live a life of lies. 

Frankly, it doesnt get any worse than that, he said. Its really sad.

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Green means go, red means ticket

While the state government didnt pass the City Councils preferred legislation regarding red light photo enforcement, a bill passed that allows the operation of red light cameras to fall under the auspices of private companies.

Driver information would be available to the camera operators to relay ticket information, which has worried some, but the city wants to reserve their law enforcement units for other threats to public safety not administrative work.  

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