In March, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) told the state’s colleges and universities to rescind policies that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, arguing that schools have no legal authority to adopt such statements. On Friday, Cuccinelli appeared at Boys State, where a high school student asked him, “How is that not a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment?” Cuccinelli responded by suggesting that the amendment was not designed to protect gay men and women:
“State universities are not free to create any specially protected classes other than those dictated by the General Assembly,” Cuccinelli said. “Your question is, why is that not a violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. Frankly, the category of sexual orientation would never have been contemplated by the people who wrote and voted for and passed the 14th Amendment,” he said.
“There are judges who think these things ‘evolve,’ is the word they like to use,” Cuccinelli said, but the correct approach to making such a change would be a constitutional amendment, he said.
Over at the Wonk Room, Igor Volsky explains, “It’s certainly true that the authors of the 14th amendment may not have ‘contemplated’ protecting gay people from discrimination, but the Supreme Court has.” Read more about Court precedent here.