Chair will mute pro-lifer on Barre ‘diversity’ committee

By Guy Page

William Toborg, a pro-life member of the Barre City Diversity and Equity Committee, will be muted if he attempts to speak at future meetings because of his “anti-women activism” and “misogynistic perspective,” the committee chair informed him in an Aug. 16 email.

Toborg is at least the second Vermonter to be cancelled from a municipal advisory board dedicated to ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion.’ Keith Longmore, a black MAGA supporter and member of the St. Albans City advisory board, was removed by City Council vote after he failed to endorse the flying of the BLM flag in a parade and (according to other advisory board members) showed insufficient enthusiasm for the board’s mission.

Wikimedia Commons/Kenneth Zirkel

Barre City Hall

The origins of Toborg’s conflict began at the primary election polls on August 9. Toborg, the husband of Vermont Right to Life policy analyst Sharon Toborg, parked a minivan at the polls bearing a sign opposing Article 22, the proposed constitutional amendment enshrining ‘reproductive liberty’ in the Vermont Constitution that will go to all Vermont voters November 8. A pro-choice voter parked her vehicle in front of Toborg’s, thus obstructing the view of the sign.

Several minutes of Thunder Road-esque political street theater ensued, as Toborg and the other driver maneuvered their vehicles to their advantage. There was no contact or violence – except when the other driver backed into Toborg (himself, not his minivan), pinning him against the fence of the Barre Auditorum property.

Toborg was not hurt and did not press charges. The story of the encounter was covered by the Times-Argus, the local daily newspaper. However, at the following Monday’s D&E meeting, vice-chair Ellen Kaye urged him to tell his story. So that’s what Toborg did, he told Vermont Daily Chronicle. (The meeting was not videotaped, and the minutes have not been posted.)

Toborg’s comments — elicited by Kaye — were apparently too much for board chair Joelen Mulvaney, a local artist, longtime pro-Abenaki activist, wife of one-time Progressive Party statewide candidate Ed Stanak, and mother of Burlington Progressive lawmaker Emma Mulvaney-Stanek.

Her email to Toborg appears below:

Dear William;

I am very concerned about you bringing up your anti-women activism last evening. Why would you do that? It begs the question about how you could be serving on an equity committee and support such a misogynist perspective?

You have your first amendment rights on the street, but in our meetings you must comply with our statement read at the beginning of every meeting and my warnings to you about your abusive and incendiary behavior.

I will be muting you during the meetings as a result. I have warned you more than once. The only words I will accept from you are, “I resign from the committee”, other wise you can communicate with the committee through me via email. I’ll keep it open during our meetings and respond in real time.

Vermont Daily Chronicle asked Mulvaney via email which statement Toborg supposedly violated. She emailed back the following “affirmation statement” published on the committee’s website page:

“We acknowledge that Barre City was developed on Sokoki Abenaki land, which the Western Abenaki nation never ceded, made treaty for, nor were they conquered. We aspire to create a space in our meetings that is inclusive, participatory and equitable. We acknowledge we all come from different experiences and that our experiences may be affected by racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, ableism and many other systems of oppression. We are here to address equity within the systems of our city in order to inform the City Council of our findings. We acknowledge that systemic inequities exist and do not debate the personal experiences of marginalized and underrepresented community members. With that in mind, it is important that we are thoughtful of the impact of our words on each other in this space.” [Bold face Mulvaney’s]

The committee page does not address abortion or reproductive rights. It is not clear how muting Toborg creates a space that is “inclusive or “participatory.”

Mulvaney clearly is unhappy with Toborg’s presence on the committee. During the VDC/Mulvaney email exchange, she directed media inquiries to the City Council: “Address any other questions to the city council, they are the ones who chose this configuration of members.”

Toborg has said publicly he will not resign. Mulvaney’s term expires in 2023, Toborg’s in 2024. The Barre Diversity and Equity Committee meets 6:30 p.m. the third Monday of every month, which next month will be Sept. 19.

Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Kenneth Zirkel

11 thoughts on “Chair will mute pro-lifer on Barre ‘diversity’ committee

  1. How did Toborg acquire his position on the committee? Was he elected to it or appointed? Either way, he is on the committee specifically to represent other people who lose their representation, their voice, when he is silenced. The committee Chair must be called out for censorship.

    • Are you familiar with goose stepping? Get in line comrade!
      You will own nothing and be happy.

  2. Can you hear the deafening silence?

    What did you say Gov. Scott?
    What was that candidate Benning?
    Mr. Dame, please what is the position on this?

    Anti woman, when is there going to be equality? Whereby men and women have the same % of custody and child payments?

    Where is the equity? The fairness, if it’s just a POC (product of conception) then that is all the state and men should be responsible for financially?

    Where is the equity? Why are we spending so much money on preemie bables, Oh my misspeak, product of conceptions…..why?

    The bill coming before Vermonters is the most vile, anti-woman, anti- human, soul sucking piece of work before mankind. True evil.

    On top of that some smart readers pointed out it isn’t even confined to abortion…..they’ll be using it to defend the “gender transitions” for your 5 year old!……

    Hang on… it’s gonna be a wild ride. Surely the bill to enshrine the definition of what is in a woman and thereby making abortion at any time across the United States illegal.

    God works in mysterious ways. 🙂

  3. Mulvaney is nothing more than a thug, and she’s the one dumb enough to put a written statement out in public, attacking free speech rights of another board member.
    The City should can her quickly, before she causes any more damage.

  4. Sounds like her respect for his first amendment rights is incomplete. She should have added “as long as he agrees with me.” I may disagree with his opinion, but never his right to express it. Her leadership qualities seem questionable at best.

  5. The irony is that there is no inclusion in DEI. THE only inclusive voices are those who support and put critical theory into practice aka social justice and equity. These cultural and identity Marxists proclaim everyone who does not support their views as Marxists, bigots and racists, and will not stop until they have complete control of society. This is nothing but a socialist power grab which is occuring throughout Western countries, including Canada and Australia.

  6. That committee is violating Mr Toborg’s Free Speech rights under the US Constitution , amendment 1.

    He needs a lawyer and a lawsuit. Then, we’ll see how fast certain people react.

    This insanity needs to STOP and not just in that town. Every town. Getting people to STAND up is our problem though.

    • I agree with you Scott, Mr. Toborg needs a “GOOD” lawyer !!!
      Joelen Mulvaney, I feel thinks she is better than anyone else and she is the lord and master. She better read the Constitution about freedom of speech.
      No one should be “muted” when they are a board member. He wasn’t being violent or screaming out bad words.
      Mulvaney is the one who needs to be “MUTED” !!!

  7. So, expressing pro-life sentiment is now defined as “misogynist”. Interesting that expressing pro-choice views in a public setting is not defined as “pro-infanticide”, but that is the double standard that we live under now in progressive Vermont. Sometimes these new rules get confusing but let me try to clarify them: If a person of the left with thin skin hears someone utter an opinion that they disagree with, they are triggered and feel upset. The person having uttered the opinion has now committed a MICROAGGRESSION against them. A microaggression causes measurable stress responses in a sensitive person which harms them. They are now entitled to harm the person who uttered the triggering opinion either physically, by siccing protestors to their home or by depriving them of their Constitutional Right to free expression.
    It sounds crazy, but sorry, rules are rules.
    Orwell’s 1984 was written as a cautionary tale, but the left uses it as an instruction manual.

  8. All that is missing from these people…diversity, equity, BLM, ANTIFA, Gender, Race, Progressive, Enviro, Socialism etc, etc….crowd is their Brown Shirt’s for their uniform.. VT needs to supply tens of thousands of Brown Shirts so these people can advertise & be proud of what they do. They are Berlin 1938 – pre war Germany…and the Hitler Youth Brown Shirts did the exact same thing to people they disagree with (hated)….Propaganda everywhere (just like now)….book burning everywhere (just like Media & Tech censorship & cancel culture now)…and then? The ULTIMATE target in 1938 was “The Juden”…and that has simply now been updated in 2022 to “The MAGA”….and there is one person in the world that terrifies these Hitleresque types…and that is Trump….The Ultimate Juden, not in Berlin 1938…USA 2022.

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