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Since There Is No State Oversight, State Agencies Can Ignore This Order? We Would Recommend Yes!
Today Governor Terry McAuliffe signed Executive Order #30, directing all Virginia state agencies, authorities, commissions and other entities to make the necessary policy changes to comply with yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision not to review the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision legalizing gay marriage in Virginia. The text of the Executive Order is as follows:
NUMBER THIRTY (2014)
Importance of the Issue
The highest priority of state government should be to guarantee every person’s right to live, learn, work, and do business, regardless of their race, gender, creed or sexual orientation. This principle guided my first act as Governor when I signed Executive Order #1 banning discrimination in the state workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This principle also guided the Virginia leaders, advocates and allies who fought for marriage equality and won when the Supreme Court declined to review the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling inBostic v. Schaefer. Same-sex marriage is now legal in Virginia. This is a historic and long overdue moment for our Commonwealth and our country.
The decision has opened new doors to my administration’s guiding principle of equality. An open and welcoming environment is imperative to grow as a Commonwealth, and to build a new Virginia economy that will attract vital businesses, innovative entrepreneurs, and thriving families.
On issues ranging from recognizing same-sex marriages to extending health care benefits to same-sex spouses of state employees, state government is already well-prepared to implement this landmark decision. My administration will act quickly to continue to bring all of our policies and practices into compliance so that we can give married same-sex couples the full array of benefits they deserve.
Pursuant to the authority vested in me as the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth, and pursuant to Article V of the Constitution and the laws of Virginia, I hereby order, effective immediately, that all entities in the executive branch, including agencies, authorities, commissions, departments, and all institutions of higher education further evaluate all policies and take all necessary and appropriate legal measures to comply with this decision.
In addition, the Director of the Department of Human Resource Management shall notify all state agencies that employees whose same-sex marriage is recognized as legal in the Commonwealth, and who are eligible, may enroll their spouse and eligible dependents in the health benefits program for state employees within sixty (60) days of marriage.
A full and complete report of all appropriate measures will be reviewed by the Counselor to the Governor and presented to the Governor on or before November 15, 2014.
Effective Date of the Executive Order
This Executive Order shall become effective upon its signing, and shall remain in full force and effect unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.
Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 7th day of October, 2014.
Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor
Secretary of the Commonwealth