This error in judgment will end up, as it should, causing embarrassment to those responsible and those who are making excuses for them.
April 16, 2007
By Martha S. Baine, Waterford
I have written to Gov. Tim Kaine to ask him under what authority state troopers were massed at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Loudoun County, on April 12 to greet the Soulforce Equality Riders.
The riders, a couple of score of unarmed young people who have been riding across the nation stopping to talk at Christian colleges about being gay and lesbian Christians, were met with over 100 law enforcement officers–local police, county sheriff’s deputies, and state troopers.
The riders stood quietly, sang, spoke to the press, two of them attempted to deliver a dinner invitation to the students of the college, were arrested, and later released. No other college on the trip has met them with such an aggressive and overwhelming show of force. Nor were any students allowed out to speak with them–this by a college whose stated mission is to groom the future political leaders of America.
As a Virginia citizen and taxpayer I want to know:
A) Why state troopers were allowed to participate in this recapitulation of massive resistance that made Virginia look as ridiculous as it did 45 years ago.
B) Why private entities can call out public law enforcement troops and what entitles them to such protection when there is no threat of public disorder.
C) Why none of the law enforcement groups worked with or even got in touch with Equality Loudoun or any local gay and lesbian advocacy group to acquaint themselves with the situation beforehand.
D) Who is going to pay for this massive show of force against peaceable citizens exercising their right of assembly.