Casting aside his penchant for papering over his personal agenda with cites to peer reviewed studies and research, Marshall shot from the lip again yesterday in an AP story by Bob Lewis about Equality Virginia's legislation to protect state workers from discrimination.
This time his target was gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender Virginians.
Lewis' story says opponents of SB 66, which would prohibit discrimination in state employment, believe it is unnecessary and, then, quotes Delegate Marshall:
"I think there first should be some finding that homosexuals, as a class, are being discriminated against," said Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, an ardent social conservative. "In all of my experience and reading, gay individuals seem to have more income, to attend more cultural events, to take more vacations than the rest of us. Show me where this discrimination is going on."
So, Bob, what do the studies show?
Took me less than two minutes to find these facts this morning:
Workplace protection is linked to higher earnings for gay men. Median earnings for gay men are $3,000 below the income of men with female partners, though the gap shrinks in states with workplace-protection laws and increases where none exist. Among less-educated men in the 11 states that protect workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation, earnings of partnered gay men come closer to earnings of men with female partners.
For more information:
Gates, Gary. 2003. "Income of Gay Men Lags Behind that of Men Partnered with Women." Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.
Gates, Gary. 2003. "Workplace Protection Linked to Higher Earnings for Less-Educated Gay Men." Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.
Gates, Gary. 2001. "Domestic Partner Benefits Won't Break the Bank." Commentary in Population Today. April 1.
I know there's more "evidence" out there, and, Bob, if you'd talk to the GLBT people who live in your district, I'm sure they'd provide many personal stories of discrimination, and confront your offensive stereotype of them as the ballet going, beach partying, comfortably rich.
Bob, here's my question for you ... what would you say if I had been quoted as saying, "in all my reading and experience, social conservatives are all poorly educated, hard drinking people whose idea of entertainment is to stay home and make babies?" You'd be righteously outraged, wouldn't you?
So, why shouldn't your ignorant use of gross stereotypes to defend your indefensible objection to granting all Virginians the basic human right of a workplace free from discrimination provoke the same outrage among fair minded people?
The answer is, it should, and it does.