Terry McAuliffe officially became governor of Virginia on Saturday, January 11. During his inaugural speech, he expressed his respect for, and commitment to, the LGBT population, and announced that his first order of business will be to end anti-LGBT workplace discrimination.
In his speech, McAuliffe addressed the importance of equality:
My administration will work tirelessly to ensure that those opportunities are equal for all of Virginia’s children—no matter if you’re a boy or a girl, no matter what part of the Commonwealth you live in, no matter your race or religion, and no matter whom you love.
There is still work to do. We must work to ensure that the children of new immigrants to Virginia have equal educational opportunities; to ensure that someone can’t just lose a job simply because they are gay. And to ensure that every woman has the right to make her own personal health care decisions.
His plan, Executive Order Number 1, will protect LGBT state employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, marking the first time that transgender people have been explicitly included.
A Democrat and businessman, McAuliffe served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005. In the general election, he defeated Republican Ken Cuccinell and Libertarian Robert Sarvis, earning 48 percent of the vote.
According to McAuliffe, Executive Order Number 1 will become effective upon its signing and will remain in full force and effect until amended or rescinded by further executive order.