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The Virginia House of Delegates also gave preliminary approval Tuesday to the so-called “Tebow bill” that would allow home-schooled children to participate in public-school sports. Mr. Cuccinelli, whose younger children are home-schooled, gave it a brief shout-out at the rally earlier in the day.

The bill has been one of the most closely watched in the General Assembly this year. Proponents argue that it’s only fair to allow the children of taxpaying parents to participate, while opponents contend it would create an unlevel playing field.

“Nobody’s asking for a quota,” said Delegate Robert B. Bell, Albemarle Republican and sponsor of the measure. “Nobody’s asking for reserve positions. All they’re asking for is a chance to try out.”

Mr. Plum said he appreciated the sincerity of those pushing the legislation, but was still wary about the fairness of the bill.

“I frankly don’t know a way to make it workable and fair to all involved,” he said.