Note to Gays: You Won, Don’t Overreach

Gay rights advocates must be tasting blood after the pasting applied to Del. Bradley P. Marrs, R-Chesterfield, for a fund-raising letter that coarsely alluded to the gay sexual orienation of a Richmond businessman who gave money to his opponent. It’s hard to explain otherwise why they now would be attacking him for writing the offending letter on stationery that “mimics official House letterhead.”

According to Jeff Schapiro with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, gay-rights leaders are calling for a legislative ethics panel to investigate whether Marrs violated House rules. “The average person might reasonably understand this lettter to be an official communication from Delegate Marrs in his capacity as a member of the House of Delegates,” senior officials with Equality Virginia, the Log Cabin Republicans of Virginia, and the Lesbian Democratic Club wrote to House Speaker William J. Howell.

Noting that it is common practice among legislators in both parties to send political mail on official-looking stationery, Paul Nardo, Howell’s chief of staff, said there would be no inquiry.

Bacon to gays: Quit while you’re ahead. Gays achieved a remarkable victory in the Marrs brouhaha: Nearly every major political figure in Virginia condemned Marrs’ gay-baiting language. The incident established an important standard for Virginia politics: There is no place for gratuitous references to an individual’s “homosexual” orientation. Don’t obscure this step forward with a controversy over Marr’s choice of stationery.

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  1. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    Good advice, Jim. Shrill “piling on” over ancillary issues ends up harming the image of any group that is interested in advancing its cause to the mainstream.

  2. Barnie Day Avatar
    Barnie Day

    Agree. Agree. Agree

  3. Ben Tribbett Avatar
    Ben Tribbett

    I forwarded this to Josh, he’s a good, smart guy and I hope he takes a look at it.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    Gays didn’t win a damn thing with this incident. If nothing else, they lost…

    Marrs won because he came off as a gay-basher…which, as we’ve seen in other races, is a good thing when you’re trying to win in a conservative district.

    And Kilgore won because he came off as sympathetic. He’s the most anti-gay candidate in the history of the Commonwealth, and this gave him an opportunity to look good, not necessarily to gays, but to moderates. The whole thing stinks of a set-up…

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    oh look at you ben, you’re so plugged in to everything. you’re just running the show in va politics.

    need a favor? call ben

    need campaign advice? call ben

    need a candidate for office? call ben

  6. Ben Tribbett Avatar
    Ben Tribbett

    Thanks anonymous! I’m also good at nicknames- like Will, John and Norman as the “Asses of Evil”

  7. If this was 40 years ago, would you have been saying the same things to black leaders? Don’t be so shrill? Don’t overreach with all this civil rights stuff? Be happy with what you have?

    Let’s put more historical perspective on this than your conservative, Kaine vs. Kilgore, “new economy” perspective.

  8. subpatre Avatar

    Scott – You’ve got it completely backwards. For those who remember 40 years ago, it was black leaders themselves who enforced focus on civil rights, not the letterhead used by segregationists.

    Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
    Paul and Silas, bound in jail,
    had no money for to go their bail,
    Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on, hold on ….

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