I don’t always agree with the Democrats.  Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.  This is particularly true of the local Democrats.  This time I do agree with the Democrats and I stand with Harry Wiggins and the others who have left the Committee  because of the vitriolic language towards gays and lesbians  demonstrated by the chairman of Committee of 100.

Harry Wiggins, chairman of the Prince William County Democratic Committee, explained his position and the position of the 27 Democratic candidates in today’s Potomac Local:

Why Democrats will not participate in Prince William Committee of 100 candidate forums

As many know, the Prince William Democratic candidates for this November’s General Election are not participating in any forum, debate, etc, hosted by, sponsored by, or co-hosted by the Prince William Committee of 100.

This was a unanimous decision by all 27 Democrats running for office in Prince William. The reason?

Shortly after being elected President of the Committee of 100, James Young posted a venomous attack on homosexuals. Mr. Young is, of course, entitled to his political views, and he need not forfeit them simply because he is president of the Committee of 100.

He is free to publicly oppose gay marriage, adoption of children by gay couples, and a host of other policies targeting homosexuals. His rant, however, was not a political policy statement, but a hateful and vitriolic assault on homosexuals as people, employing the type of language that has been used in the past to both provoke and rationalize violence against them.

It was not only an offense to common decency, but totally inappropriate for the president of an organization devoted to civil discussion of issues. It is now simply impossible for a gay person to feel that they are welcome in the Committee of 100.

The organization’s application might as well now read “Homosexuals Need Not Apply.” When I first learned of Young’s public tirade, I called him and reminded him that historically the Committee has been open and accepting of anyone and that his rant as the face of the Committee will undoubtedly have repercussions.

The solution was relatively simple: Mr. Young need not resign as president, but he should apologize for the language he used. Subsequently, I resigned as Treasurer of the Committee, as did the Vice President and several other members of the boards; numerous others will not be renewing their memberships this month.

The Committee of 100 has served Prince William valuably for more than 25 years, hosting programs and candidate fora, and for candidates who have been active in the Committee this has been a particularly sad development. Unfortunately Mr. Young has singlehandedly tainted the organization and no candidate felt they could in good conscience implicitly support an organization whose leader has so viciously attacked our family members, friends, and others in our community

Speech is free, but not without consequences, and it would be intolerable if comparable language was used to describe African-Americans, Jews, Latinos, Muslims, or other minority groups – it is intolerable in this instance as well.

We can only hope that the Committee of 100 will someday return to its mission as a place for the civil discussion of important issues. The good news for voters in the meantime is that numerous organizations are sponsoring debates this year with ample opportunity for the voters to hear candidate’s positions on the issues facing Prince William County in an environment where everyone is welcome, regardless of their sexual orientation.

You might read other accounts of Harry’s stance on other blogs.  I suggest that if you want to know the  truth, go straight to the source.  Listen to the man’s own words.  I spoke with Harry and he assured me that all 27 Democratic candidates voted unanimously to not participate in any function hosted or co-hosted by the Committee of 100.  All Mr. Young had to do was apologize for his behavior to turn this situation around.  He would not.

Rumor is being spread that the Democrats were ordered by Wiggins not to participate.  Ha!  Herding cats would be easier to accomplish than ordering 27 Democratic candidates to do anything!

I stand with Harry and the Democratic Candidates on this issue.

[disclosure:  I am not a Democrat.  My husband is a Democrat and currently a volunteer with the McPike campaign and the Shaw campaign.]

11 Thoughts to “I stand with Harry Wiggins”

  1. blue

    Well now, here is an interesting tempest in a local teapot. Let’s see, the Democratic party members of the local, “non-political,” debate the issues of our day forum known as the Committee of 100 have chosen to resign rather than accept that its new, non-participating Chairman has a different view than they do over gay marriage and other things. Now, in lock step, all 27 democratic job seekers are (independently – sic) also refusing to participate in any forum sponsored by the C-100, presumably as long as Mr, Young is involved. Wow! Now to be politically correct one must assert that the Chairman can certainly harbor those anti-gay marriage views, but certainly not express them and, frankly, anyone who does — well, at least any Republican – should / must be ostracized into progressive conformity. Mr Young said hateful things is the Democrats charge. Calling gays sexual deviants, arguing that historic marriage is a cornerstone of society and that the Democratic Party’s big government welfare state has destroyed, for example, the black family is clearly hateful to the Party faithful. Crushing ! Political correctness run amok in an effort to stifle private, much less public C-100 debate that has nothing to do with the forum itself. Where is that old race card, it must be in here somewhere? Absent or even if there was a a public retraction and apology, the PWC Democrats have made their political statement to an important Democratic voting block by publicly resigning / withdrawing. Republicans need to do the same for other forums lead by Democrats. Who needs them anyway. All this has done is to show that Democrats are not so much interested in debate as compliance with their orthodoxy, and yes their unchallenged views have and will have societal consequences.

    1. Let me stop you right there, Blue. It wasn’t just an opinion. It was the way it was said, spewing vitriol on someone else’s facebook page. Members of the committee found his public words very objectionable. I saw what he wrote at the time. All he had to do is apologize. That has not happened.

      It isn’t a Republican thing. A few Republicans also took issue with what was said.

      As Harry said, you cannot chair a bi-partisan community organization and use what is basically hate speech towards a sub group of society and then come back to hold civil discussion.
      Furthermore, the Democrats didn’t resign. They aren’t accepting a debate invitation. Harry Wiggins, who was the treasurer of the organization, resigned. The V-P also resigned. I believe it was his facebook that got tarred and feathered, so to speak. Let me also say that some of the resignations had nothing to do with the gay bashing. It had everything to do with the chairman’s demeanor.

      Finally Blue, you really don’t understand what happened from reading your diatribe about good Republicans and bad Democrats.

  2. Censored bybvbl


    You seem to have missed that quite a few independents (some right of center) have left as well.

  3. blue

    @Censored bybvbl

    Really, could you name them for me?

    1. NO. I know several. Call your buddy James and ask him who all has left. Why would Censored and I splatter our friends names all over this blog? Wiggins took a public stand. Not everyone else did. Most of the resignations I know about happened before the Democrats decided not to accept debate invitations.

  4. Censored bybvbl


    Nope, not naming names but a little research on your part could find them. I think one of the founders of the Committee of 100, whom I interviewed years ago, would be insulted by James Young’s public blatherings.

  5. Mom

    But at the end of the day, Blue is right. This is nothing more than posturing by Harry, posturing that may not be in the best interests (depending on their debate skills) of the 27 Democrat candidates. I suspect that as is usually the case, this is more about Harry than PWC Dems.

    1. Then someone needs to tell the 27 candidates that. They are who initiated it, not Harry.

      Harry had already “postured,” if that is what you want to call it. Mom, I can’t believe you are defending JY. Will the earth reverse direction now?

  6. Confused

    @Mom – this is where you’re wrong. There are several other debates planned that do not include the Committee of 100. Potomac Local is sponsoring its own series as is the NAACP. There is ample opportunity to see the Democratic candidates debate.

  7. Mom

    Not defending JY as he and I have gone at in the past, I just don’t believe tarring the entire organization is the proper course.

  8. George S. Harris

    The part I still don’t understand in all of this is why the C-100 board has not impeached Mr. Young. It would seem they are willing to accept his hate speech.

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