Delegate attacks rival for gay man’s donation
Richmond Times-Dispatch – Jul 29, 2005
Del. Bradley P. Marrs, R-Chesterfield, facing a challenge from independent Katherine B. Waddell, defended the letter as standard political campaigning . . . no great innovation. Del. Bradley P. Marrs, R-Chesterfield, facing an independent challenger who depicts him as captive to GOP conservatives, is attacking a $10,000 contribution to his opponent from a wealthy homosexual businessman.
Kilgore camp says Marrs’ letter ‘out of bounds‘
Richmond Times-Dispatch – Jul 30, 2005
His party’s nominee for governor is branding as out of bounds a fundraising letter by Del. Bradley P. Marrs, R-Chesterfield, emphasizing that one of his opponent’s biggest donors is gay. “We think the personal attacks should be out of bounds,” Tim Murtaugh, press secretary to former Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore, said yesterday. “There are ample opportunities to highlight policy differences, and it should stay in that arena.”
Equality Virginia Condemns Anti-Gay Comments in Fundraising Letter
(July 29) Equality Virginia today condemned a fundraising letter and follow-up statements by Delegate Bradley Marrs (R-Chesterfield) that attacked openly gay Richmond business leader and EV member Mac Pence for his financial support of Marrs’ opponent in the 2005 House of Delegates election, independent candidate Katherine Waddell.
“This is an outrageous attempt to intimidate members of Virginia’s gay and lesbian community from exercising their free speech rights and participating in the political process, whether as donors or voters,” said Dyana Mason, Equality Virginia Executive Director. “Marrs’ attack on Pence sends the message to voters that a person’s sexual orientation, an immutable characteristic like race and gender, should disqualify him or her from participating in the political process.”
Equality Virginia urges the leadership of both parties to stand up and tell Delegate Marrs and other candidates running for office this year that this kind of attack is not ‘standard political campaigning’ in Virginia, and will be neither tolerated nor encouraged. Equality Virginia will be writing the Speaker of the House to ask that the House Subcommitee on Standards of Conduct consider the “general propriety” of Delegate Marrs’ letter under the House Rules.
“We encourage all fair-minded Virginians to join us in expecting more from all candidates running this year than intolerant and divisive remarks designed to marginalize, hurt and harm the hundreds of thousands of tax-paying gay and lesbian Virginians currently calling the Commonwealth home,” said Mason.
In a fundraising letter dated July 6, 2005 and printed on letterhead resembling official House of Delegates stationary, Del. Marrs stated, “Mrs. Waddell accepted [a] big donation from a wealthy homosexual businessman active in the lobbying efforts of the homosexuals’ advocacy group, Equality Virginia.. That donation was for TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!”
After being questioned by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Marrs defended the letter saying that the attack was “standard political campaigning.”