But prejudice against LGBT population in Virginia still exists
More than 60 years ago an English Professor from the University of Virginia was arrested on the basis of his sexual preference. The arrest was featured in the Times-Dispatch and the story moved swiftly through the dorms at U.Va.
The professor returned to his classroom the Monday after the incident and, upon his entering, the whole class arose and applauded. I have cherished that display, bereft of all bigotry, for most of my life. Never have I been prouder of being a graduate from “The University.”
I have watched gays attain more and more civil rights and, with each gain, those applauding students come to mind.
But unfortunately prejudice against gays is still present and no better example of this can be found than in Bob Marshall’s commentary in the Aug. 27 issue of The Star. The issue being discussed stems from Frederick County’s rescinding an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual preference, ostensibly, at the request of Dave LaRock.
In his letter Marshall cites individuals from 40 years ago supporting the notion that local governments lack the authority to create job protections absent legislation from the General Assembly. Times change and I am sure that at least Governor Baliles would be appalled at Marshall’s use of his name.
Far better for Frederick to have left their protection statue on the books than to rescind it. Those students at U.Va. would have taken it to court!
Marshall goes on to remind the reader of his befuddled commentary that LaRock is correct that not all discrimination is inherently harmful. Is he saying that discrimination against fat people, old people, people ticketed, people being given lower insurance, and the list goes on is akin to the experience suffered by members of the gay community. What utter nonsense!
I hope when voters see Dave LaRock’s name on the ballot that they will remember his support comes from a man who has asked the question, “Why should we have special ‘categories’ of persons with special ‘protections?”
Even more discomforting, is The Star’s headline for the Marshall letter, “Lucky to Have LaRock.” I doubt it. The Star goes on to tell us that Bob Marshall served in the General Assembly for 26 years, the inference being that he is one of Virginia’s senior statesmen. We learn that he is the author of “Reclaiming the Republic: How Christians and Other Conservatives can take back America.”
It is here that readers should reflect on the Spanish philosopher Uno Mundo’s words: “To be silent is to lie.” And omission sometimes constitutes silence. The Star betrayed its readers by not adding the fact that Bob Marshall is the homophobic author of the ill-fated “bathroom bill”, a bill that not even all to the “Christians and Other Conservatives” saw as a means to reclaim the republic.
Walter S. McMann is a resident of Clarke County.