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‘It’ is a shame, Supervisor Delgaudio

That occurred Jan. 5, during the course of the board’s debate over adding language to the county’s equal employment opportunity policy preventing the government from basing hiring or firing practices on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

During remarks in the meeting room of the Board of Supervisors, Delgaudio used the pejorative terms “fruity,” “bizarre” and “freaky” to describe the proposal on sexual orientation for Loudoun citizens.

The word “fruity” belongs on a candy wrapper, not attached to a person.

Further, instead of using the personal pronouns of “him” or “her” during his remarks, Delgaudio preferred to use the term “it” to describe people who might be protected by the new county guidelines.

This was sustained and unrestrained demagoguery targeting human beings.

Delgaudio saw fit to drive the bigotry home – literally—by sending a mass e-mail to residences across his district that went on to restate the same offensive terms, such as “cross dressing freaks,” and railing against how the county might now “have to treat ‘it’ the same as a normal person.”

Leniency has been granted to Delgaudio in the past for what has been described loosely as “clownish” behavior. We often hear, “Oh, that’s just Eugene.”

Not by us. Not this time. It’s time to say, “Enough.” We cringe in embarrassment for the image of Loudoun in 2010 that this projects to the outside world.

These are comments unworthy of being spoken from the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors dais.

No matter where you stand on this issue, views can be expressed without belittling human beings. Sensitive subject? Yes. But the bottom line is that debate with decorum is possible on such a subject. Just check the comments of Supervisor Lori Waters, a Republican, made at the time (Waters opposed the policy change). Reasonable. Reasoned. Fact-based.

Ultimately, by the time Delgaudio is celebrating his 57th birthday in January 2012, Sterling voters will have by then decided whether this behavior is acceptable in their representative to the county.

Or whether he’ll be blowing out birthday candles as the former supervisor for Sterling.

Regardless, an apology is in order – and well before then.

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