April 12, 2005
The Virginia House of Delegates is guilty of violating free speech, according to the Thomas Jefferson Center for Freedom of Expression. For the past 14 years, the Center has handed out dubious awards to whom they deem as violators of free speech.
This year fifteen groups received the award.
Center director Bob O'Neil said the House received the award for introducing a bill that would pull state funding for libraries that don't have Internet filters, and also, for the so-called 'Droopy Drawers' bill which sought to fine those who wear pants so low that they expose their underwear.
"Setting standards and decorum in a public forum, we can't argue with that as a goal. But to do it in this particular fashion, unfortunately made the Virginia House of Delegates the laughing stock of the country by going so much beyond any reasonable attempt to regulate how kids dress and what is visible of what they are wearing," said O'Neil.
The entire list of unlucky winners can be seen at the organization's website at www.tjcenter.org.