Homophobic Congresswoman to Head Subcommittee on Higher Education

Virginia Foxx, Republican Congresswoman from North Carolina CD-5 and outspoken opponent of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, will be chair the House Subcommittee on Higher Education. Her office announced this on January 4, 2011.

She called Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard’s terribly violent death at the hands of two homophobic men “a hoax.” Judy Shepard, Matthew’s mother, happened to be in the audience at the House of Representatives that day to hear the cruel remark during debate on the bill. Only after public pressure did Foxx apologize and say it was a “poor choice of words.”

TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition now demanding that she step down!

That Congresswoman Foxx will now have power over the lives of young men and women in colleges and universities in this country is appalling and unacceptable. It is an ongoing injury not only to the Shepard family, but is a thumb in the eye of over 300 groups in coalition engaged in eleven years of civil rights activism. It’s also her failure to recognize that the law passed with support from 73% of the American public for efforts to get an expanded hate crimes prevention law passed.

Foxx should step down immediately.

Her callous remark has already proven her insensitivity to the lives of young people, especially those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered, or are perceived to be so.

Her disagreement with President Obama’s plan to spur higher college graduation rates calls into question her values as a former college educator and president. In a Chronicle of Higher Education interview, she made clear that she opposes every single one of the President’s policies. 

President Obama calls Americans to increase college graduation, enable more students from modest backgrounds to use community college as a stepping stone to a four-year degree, and has removed the costly banker-middlemen who added little value to the college loan process:

Ms. Foxx has criticized legislation that ended the bank-based program for supplying federal student loans in favor of 100-percent direct lending, in which students obtain their loans from the Department of Education. She said on Tuesday that the bill “eliminated choice, competition, and innovations from student lending,” and promised hearings aimed at making “improvements to a very flawed law.”

Virginia Foxx would put the middleman back.

In every way, she supports making college more expensive and out of reach for aspiring students.

Her support of for-profit colleges calls into question her judgment: they’ve been the subject of investigation in the Senate for numerous instances of strong-arm enrollment tactics and financial aid shenanigans, and appear to prey on veterans trying to use their benefits to complete their educations.

She may also take the lead in Republican efforts to block or overturn recent Education Department rules that could hurt for-profit colleges, though that job could fall to the education committee chairman, John Kline of Minnesota. The most controversial of the rules is the gainful-employment rule, which would cut off federal student aid to programs whose graduates carry high debt relative to income and have low loan-repayment rates.

In the past, Ms. Foxx has been a friend of for-profit colleges. The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, which represents for-profit colleges, donated $3,000 to her 2008 re-election campaign through its political-action committee, and employees of Keiser University gave $2,300. Harris N. Miller, the president of the private-sector association, welcomed Ms. Foxx’s appointment, saying she has “shown a lot of interest in our sector.”

Her prior experience as an educator reflects no sign of compassion, understanding, or appreciation for the struggles of college-bound youth. The donations she’s gotten from the sleazy for-profit higher education industry clearly holds sway over her.

President Obama took the bold and historic step of safeguarding everyone’s civil rights after nearly a decade of delays by the Bush administration. 

Sign the petition to get someone who’s knowledgeable and open-minded to chair this subcommittee!

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Photo credit: Public domain, Foxx's wesbite


Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle7 years ago

The petition said that she was a college professor. N.C. has very low standards. I hadn't checked, just assumed that with the bad publicity she had with the Matthew Shepard insult, she had been defeated in her reelection campaign. I didn't even know of her interest in for profit colleges. She is an absolute atrocity/evil. The people of N.C. are stupid.

Ignorance is merely lack of facts, and one can educate -- but stupidity cannot be cured.

Athena C.
Athena C7 years ago

Just plain scarey!

Beverly L.
Beverly L7 years ago

You better believe I'm signing the petition!

Empress Ginger
Ginger Strivelli7 years ago

Just some food for thought.

Why is it that people who don't like blacks (or whites) are racist....people who don't like women (or men) are sexist...ageists, sizests.....but people who don't liek gays are homophobic. Why is the term 'fear' because the other side wants to paint that side as 'fearful' rather than just anti.

Cause most homophobes I know aren't afraid of gays they just don't like or disapprove of them....similar to a racist who doesn't like or disapproves of the race other than theirs.

I'm not saying people should be anti-other races or anti-gays...but the 'phobia' term takes a below the belt shot at the other side... They are bigots but that doesn't mean they are 'fearful.'

Personally I am just tired of the gay and anti-fay sides constantly bickering...and taking pot shots at each other, calling each other names, charging each other with being immoral or bad. It's just a red herring issue that we've heard enough about.
Treat everyone equally and stop yelling about your personal private bedroom business from the rooftops. We don't need to know if you are into bondage or have a teddy bear fetish or having sex with another man or with 2 women at once...it's all your private business....we don't need to know.

LG Kimmel
LG K7 years ago

Get this woman off this committee NOW ... she doesn't belong there ... or in Congress either. Too many HATERS in G'ment ... she needs to be GONE!

monica r.
monica r7 years ago

oops, I meant:
Don't you *hate* that sin just as much?

monica r.
monica r7 years ago

@Aaron Baker
Have you ever eaten shrimp? Talked back to your parents?

The OT says those are abominations too.

Funny, nobody says anything about that. They just get in line at the seafood buffet. Don't you have that sin just as much?

I will stand on a corner with a sign "God hates shellfish eaters", that should solve the problem.

The Bible says "some are born eunuchs", and the wording in original language really has to mean gay, not born missing parts, by the way, which would be worded differently. So if it's an abomination, why did God create people to prefer the same sex?

On the other hand, judging others to be a SINNER, as you put it, is clearly proscribed by Christ's teachings ("judge not lest ye be judged" "let him who is without sin cast the first stone" etc). God sees into men's hearts. You don't. Neither do I. We are called to love, not judge or condemn.

We are supposed to look at the plank in our own eye, not the speck in our brother's. Vengeance is the Lord's, too. Leave that to Him. As you said "HE will judge". We are specifically told not to.

Charlene R.
Charlene Rush7 years ago

My goodness! To think.......the Tea Party Republicans have a large number of racists and homophobic conservatives.


Actually, she should stay right where she is, to remind us all how caring and compassionate the GOP is.

Jane H.
Jane H7 years ago

Petition signed--article noted. No need to comment on Virginia Fox's looks--- to do so is simply sexist

Aaron Baker
Aaron Baker7 years ago

You people who are pronouncing the "hate" issue do not know what TRUE HATE is, and more than likely you don't know what TRUE LOVE is either. You think that because someone speaks out against someone's race or HOMOSEXUALITY, it's due to hate. That may be true for some, but not for all. As TRUE CHRISTIANS, we are to love one another, and at the same time HATE the sin that is permeating our society in general. For your information, HOMOSEXUALITY IS AN ABOMONATION UNTO GOD, therefore, it is a SIN. Like it or not, GOD is a JUST and RIGHTEOUS GOD, HE is not just a "GOD of LOVE", and HE will JUDGE against sin.