As the Washington Post pointed out in an article today, the executive order "cements federal law, which prohibits discrimination on those grounds." Furthermore, McDonnell made it a point to exclude sexual orientation from the list and his spokesman even highlighted how he changed the executive orders from previous governors because he wanted to make sure members of the LGBT community could be discriminated against.
"The previous Executive Order on discrimination, minus the one addition previously found not to be in the Governor's authority to make, has been in effect this entire time," she wrote. "Upon review of that Executive Order, the Administration determined that some changes needed to be made to ensure compliance with state law. Those changes have been made, and this has resulted in the issuance of a new Executive Order on the subject."If Congress were to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, then it would be illegal for Bob McDonnell's administration to discriminate against people based solely upon who they love. Since Congress has failed to act, however, McDonnell was able to make it clear that he is willing to backtrack on progress that we've made in the Commonwealth of Virginia and can get away with it due to the lack of protections in federal law. His actions therefore provide the general public with a prime example of why Congress needs to pass ENDA. If you don't want Bob McDonnell to get away with allowing discrimination, call your members of Congress at 202.224.3121 and tell them to pass a fully inclusive ENDA.