William and Mary

House Sub-Committee Defeats "Discrimination" Bill

Late yesterday a House General Laws sub-committee defeated legislation (SB 701) that would have elevated sexual behavior to a protected class in the state’s hiring laws. The sub-committee voted down the measure by a vote of 5-1. The patron, Senator Donald McEachin (D-9, Richmond), has carried similar legislation for many years. Several people testified in favor of the measure, some from Virginia's universities, such as VCU and William and Mary. All claimed a "climate of fear," believing that they can be fired for their sexual behavior. But no one, again this year, could present a single case of anyone who has actually been discriminated against. Statistics from the state show that there have been no confirmed cases of discrimination based on sexual behavior or "orientation."

That point was made by Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15, Woodstock), a long-time member of the sub-committee. He stated that he has asked proponents to present actual evidence of discrimination, but no one has presented any such evidence, nor did they this year. He made the motion to defeat the bill.

Proponents also argued that Virginia is "losing talent" because we haven't elevated sexual behavior to a protected class. However, Virginia annually is recognized as one of the best managed states in the nation and a state with an exceptional business climate. Unfortunately, if people have a fear of being discriminated against, it comes from the rhetoric and fear-mongering of proponents of this legislation, and not from actual discrimination.

Should sexual behavior be elevated to protected status, the next steps no doubt will be to discriminate against faith-based organizations that partner with the state on assisting the needy, providing adoption services, and a host of other ministries, simply because they may have a viewpoint of human sexuality that runs counter to proponents of this measure. We hear a lot of contrivance around hear about the unleashed horrors of "unintended consequences" certain bills may allow. But the intended consequences of this bill to religious liberty, if ever passed, are frightening.

Others on the sub-committee who voted to defeat the bill were Delegates Chris Peace (R-97, Hanover), Barry Knight (R-81, Virginia Beach), John Cox (R-55, Ashland) and Peter Farrell (R-56, Henrico).

Virginia Colleges: Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler!

Tomorrow is Mardi Gras — actually, the festival of Mardi Gras is an ongoing, many-weeks New Orleans festival where the anything-goes-good-times only culminate tomorrow — whereas the rest of us have a one-day bash in preparation for the sacrifices and abstaining of Lent that begin on Ash Wednesday.  Getting into the swing are some of Virginia's best known institutions of higher learning. William and Mary's new administration, sadly, teased the public with a fig leaf of deference, only to pull it back. Yes, the sex show returns. See Delegate Brenda Pogge's (R-96, Yorktown) news release below (see her letter last year to then-W&M President Gene Nichol).

Not to be outdone, football-less George Mason University, best known for its Economics Department featuring the likes of Dr. Walter E. Williams and Dr. Don Boudreaux (also see here and here) not to mention Nobel winners, and for its hoops team's run to the Final Four a few years ago, had its annual Homecoming Basketball game this past weekend. It elected a boy homecoming queen. See the Washington Post's account here.

Not just any boy: a transvestite. As it turns out, not just any queen either: He works as a drag queen in D.C. area bars. Fantastique! Laissez le bon temps rouler!

Here's what's so instructive about the whole situation, as reported in the Post:

"Officially, the university is 'very comfortable with it. We're fine,' spokesman Daniel Walsch said. The school does not require participants in the Mr. and Ms. Mason pageant to compete along precise gender lines, he said."

So why even have "Mr." and "Ms." contests? Why not a "Homecoming Student" contest? Open it up. Truth in advertising. If it does not matter, then GMU officials should end the contest as is immediately, and simply have a generic "Homecoming Student" vote. Students could enter as they wish to have their personhood identified: homosexual, heterosexual, male, female, dean's list student, frat boy stud, jock, regular Joe or Jane, beauty contestant, whatever.

At least there's this, from The Post:

"But others say it is an embarrassment at an inopportune time when Mason is trying to revamp its image from commuter school to distinguished institution of higher learning."

Meanwhile, back at the academic seat of the western point of the Historic Triangle, on March 23, students can learn all about a potential professional field upon graduation. According The Daily Press:

"The show — which features strippers, prostitutes and other sex workers performing and discussing their work. ..."

will be paid for by student activity fees because, as new President Taylor Reveley, said:

"The elected representatives of the student body approve the use of student fees for these events, not administration. This experience in self-government is part of the learning process."

Self government? Or the inmates running the asylum? But who cares? It's Mardi Gras. Laissez le bon temps rouler! Let the good times roll!

POGGE Expresses Disappointment with Repeat of Sex Show

February 3, 2009

YORKTOWN, VA — Today Delegate Brenda Pogge, in response to an article in today's Daily Press,released a letter sent last week to William and Mary President, Taylor Reveley concerning her deep disappointment at the possibility that "The Sex Workers Art Show" would go on at the College.

The letter, dated January 30 made the request that, "given the controversy that this show created last year and in years past, I am humbly requesting that this year the show not go on."

The letter went on to say, "One of the tests that the Supreme Court used in defining obscenity is does it violate community standards. I submit to you on behalf of the majority of the citizens of my District, that it does." Delegate Pogge is opposed to the return of "The Sex Workers Art Show" to the College of William and Mary and today stated, "In my opinion the inclusion of the word "Art" is a vain attempt to put lipstick on a pig."

A Great Way To Begin The End Of The Week And Breaking News

A new record: We got our quite hysterical Quote of the Day at exactly 8:08 this morning, the fastest time ever. It comes courtesy of Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Manasas), with an unintended assist from WRVA's Jimmy Barrett on Richmond's Morning News. Barrett had Marshall on to discuss the on-campus William and Mary "sex industry show" (paid for by us taxpayers) as well as one at VCU (but which is off campus).

Barrett introduced the topic by listing the "industry types" who will attend: strippers, prositutes and porn stars when Marshall, without Barrett yet introducing him, stepped right in and said:

"You forgot the dominatrixes, Jimmy."

Then, when discussing how to reign in William and Mary President Gene Nichol, who also removed the Cross from the Wrenn Chapel "because some might find it offensive" (a Cross in a chapel offensive?), Delegate Marshall said that:

"Last year I offered a budget amendment that got 37 votes on a recorded vote to strip him of his salary. . . pardon the use of the verb."

A great way to begin the end of the week.

In another joke (of sorts) the rumor since mid-week has been the House would meet Saturday afternoon and into the night to catch up on bills before the "crossover" deadline early next week. The breaking news is that apparently there was no truth to it. But the House Republicans wanted to make the Dems sweat a bit. Saturday, you see, is their big Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner, and an evening session would have meant all those $1,000 tickets gone to waste — also, not a bad way to end the week.