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Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Virginia is Not for Lovers: Use and Abuse of Office to Discriminate

Guaranteed legal protection for LGBTQ college students, faculty, and staff in Virginia?

Despite existing non-discriminatory policies at the Commonwealth’s public colleges and universities, the state’s head lawyer wants to pull the plug.

Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the three month-old Attorney General for Virginia, has officially asked the state’s public universities to end workplace policies protecting LGBT folks. The state’s colleges and universities have historically made decisions separate from the will of executive and legislative branches; Cuccinelli’s call to begin discriminating has been opposed by the state’s senate Democrats as well as the ACLU.

The AG’s conservative agenda has not been met with cheers and applause:

Cuccinelli’s move has dismayed students and faculty members. It suggests that Cuccinelli intends to take a harder line with the state’s university system, where liberal academics have long coexisted uneasily with state leaders in Richmond.

Higher education has often been a playing field for politicians with aggressive social agendas to enact (or attempt to enact) their individual mandates. Take a look at the debacle that is Florida’s statewide university system, for example, to see how a person in power (namely, Governor Jeb Bush) can wreak havoc on an entire university system.

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RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
July 2020
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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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