Richmond is on a lot of peoples' minds. If not about the governance of the Commonwealth or the Special Tax Session of the General Assembly to begin June 23 or the beautiful and historic city it is, then often about the shenanigans that often take place at city hall. There's the constant fights between Mayor Doug Wilder and the school board, such as when he had movers and city police physically move the shool board's offices out of city hall; and his fights with city council.

So it is more than just a parochial concern when the city appropriates $15,000 to the Gay Community Center of Richmond. Click here to read it in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, buried near the end of an article about budget cuts city council really did make (to its credit). It's thrown in at the end, in the middle of a litany of other appropriations, such as tree plantings and economic development. You know, funding a private venture which happens to be a controversial cause, goes right along with trees and economic development. Yep. That's what I'd think.

So the city finds a bunch of waste and abuse and cuts it out only to spend a portion of the savings on a "gay center"? Why? Why does any private group deserve tax money? It's not the amount, it's not the recipient. (Yet, where are the city's pastors on this?) It's the principle: Governments are to meet the fundamental needs (i.e., core or basic) of all of its people, not give away its citizens' hard-earned money to special and narrow interests, and private entities.