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Virginia gov. curtails protections for gay workers

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Gays and lesbians in Virginia have lost specific protection from discrimination in the workplace after  Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) reissued the state’s non-discrimination policy with one group conspicuously absent from the list.

This order is in furtherance of the stated policy enacted by the General Assembly, and specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities.

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It didn’t take McDonnell long to issue this executive order. He took office Jan. 16 of this year and signed the order less than three weeks later on Feb. 5.

The order rescinds the policy of his predecessor Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat who promised to be “fair and inclusive” in his inaugural address and then — as one of his first actions — added veterans and sexual orientation to the state’s non-discrimination policy.

Gov. McDonnell assured reporters that his administration is not anti-gay, and that he will work to ensure fair treatment of all workers.

“The only thing I care about is will they work hard, will they follow the vision that I’ve outlined for state government, will they have a servant’s heart, do they love Virginia and will they get results,” he said.

The gay and lesbian press was not convinced, pointing out that he opposed protecting gays from discrimination when he was the state’s Attorney General.

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The Governor has released a policy he recently sent to staff members and Cabinet secretaries indicating that his office would not discriminate “for any reason,” but his message could hardly be clearer: discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is not prohibited.

“People in the  commonwealth want individuals to be judged on performance rendered on the job, not their personal lifestyles,” said House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong, D-Henry.

McDonnell faced opposition during his 2009 campaign for governor when his 1989 graduate thesis emerged, in which he argued that homosexuality could have a negative impact on society.

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He has stated that his views have changed since then.


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2020 Election

Trump can’t attack Kamala Harris without contradicting his own message: Bakari Sellers

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former South Carolina lawmaker Bakari Sellers broke down why Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) poses such a challenge for President Donald Trump.

"What we're seeing with the two parties is the narrow focus is going to be on the fact that Donald Trump and the Trump campaign have no way, and they do not know how to deal, with Kamala Harris," said Sellers. "It very difficult to say 'Kamala is a cop' and be a 'law and order president.' Those two things simply do not mesh. Not only ahistorical and inaccurate, but the messages, they collide."

"But second, it shows that the Republican Party and Democratic Party are going in two vastly different directions," continued Sellers. "The country is becoming more diverse, the country is becoming more brown. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris represent the demographics of what the country will be, and Donald Trump and Steven Miller and Mike Pence represent a day that's passed. So what I would say tonight is while Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to cheer on the Confederacy, we're trying to re-imagine what this country will look like. It goes back to a time where Americans can feel good about being first and about thinking about what our country can be: full of hope and faith."

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2020 Election

WATCH: Tucker Carlson flips out after guest teaches him how to pronounce ‘Kamala Harris’

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Fox News personality Tucker Carlson repeated mispronounced the first name of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who is Joe Biden's running mate.

"On Fox, Tucker Carlson keeps calling her KAM-uh-luh, which is not how it's pronounced," Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel noted.

He linked to a tweet with a picture of Harris explaining in her memoir how to pronounce her name.

Harris wrote, "my name is pronounced 'comma-la' like the punctuation mark. It means 'lotus flower,' which is a symbol of significance in Indian culture. A lotus grows underwater, its flower rising above the surface while its roots are planted firmly in the river bottom."

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Bishop falsely claims Joe Biden is not a Catholic — and it doesn’t go well for him

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On Tuesday, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island attacked former Vice President Joe Biden's faith, claiming that he is not really a Catholic.

Biden-Harris. First time in awhile that the Democratic ticket hasn’t had a Catholic on it. Sad.

— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) August 11, 2020

Biden is a lifelong, practicing Catholic, and he was also on the 2012 ticket, so Tobin's claim doesn't make any sense. But Tobin is an extreme right-wing firebrand with a history of politicizing the church — in 2007 he denied communion to former Rep. Patrick Kennedy for his pro-choice views, and in 2019 he called Gay Pride events "harmful for children" and demanded Catholics not attend them.

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