I’ve been on a few job search committees, and I’ve been on a few job searches myself, and there’s a standard piece of boilerplate we put on all of our job ads.
The University of Minnesota is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, or sexual orientation.
Whenever we start a job search, too, human resources reviews whatever we do, and we also get to attend a meeting where we’re informed in very strong terms that that paragraph isn’t just for show, but they really mean it, and if we violate those principles in any way, we can be in big, big trouble — and then they show us the burly lawyers with bullwhips and the guillotine. It’s important stuff.
It’s not just Minnesota, either. When I was on the job market, there was always some equal opportunity paperwork that went with every application. It’s common to every civilized state in the union that they will make an effort to avoid discrimination.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says Virginia’s colleges and universities cannot prohibit discrimination against gays because the General Assembly has not authorized them to do so.
In a letter Thursday to the presidents, rectors and boards of visitors of Virginia public colleges, Cuccinelli said: the law and public policy of Virginia “prohibit a college or university from including ‘sexual orientation’, ‘gender identity’, ‘gender expression’ or like classification, as a protected class within its non-discrimination policy, absent specific authorization from the General Assembly.”
That’s remarkable. They aren’t just saying, “Well, we don’t have a state legal requirement that you can’t discriminate against gays, but if the universities want to be a little more egalitarian than the rest of us, it’s their own decision.” They are saying there is a strong prohibition against not discriminating against gays: “Universities may not be more egalitarian and prohibit discrimination. Unless we say they can.” Virginians have a right to be prejudiced assclowns and fire faggots freely.
I’m sure Patrick Henry University and Liberty University find this decision cause to celebrate, but you’d think the state would have learned something from Loving v. Virginia.