Federal Minimum Wage Delayed After ‘Gay Sex Tax’ Resurfaces

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A House panel delayed a hearing on the federal minimum wage planned for Wednesday after a homophobic blog post written by a GOP-selected witness resurfaced.

“In gay sex, we have an activity that is clearly leading to disastrous health consequences. What rational person would engage in this sort of activity? There is only one solution — let's tax it,” Joseph Sabia wrote in a 2002 post.

Sabia, a San Diego State University economist, was set to testify at an Education and Workforce hearing on the effects of raising the federal hourly minimum wage to $15. The committee rescinded the invite after discovering Sabia’s anti-gay posts from his college-years blog, Politico reported.

Sabia went on to write “In all seriousness, the bottom line is this — the government has no business interfering in the lives of smokers, fatties, or gays. [Americans] should be free to make choices that could lead to heart disease, diabetes, or HIV. And if these bad outcomes materialize, he should not look to the public dole for relief,” according to CNBC.

Sabia already removed the blog posts from the internet, but they remained retrievable via the Wayback Machine, a web archive.

"I regret the hurtful and disrespectful language I used as a satirical college opinion writer," Sabia told Politico.

"[But] as an out gay man in a long-term committed relationship," he went on to say, "accusations of homophobia stemming from college nonsense I wrote nearly 20 years ago are hurtful to my family today."

Kelley McNabb, communications director for the committee’s majority, said “members were uncomfortable moving forward on the hearing” after they discovered the posts of 2002.

It would have been the first House hearing on minimum wage in 8 years. Democrats of the committee argued that the GOP majority should have allowed the hearing to continue regardless.

“My Republican colleagues on the committee should have issued a strong rebuke disavowing this witness and let the hearing go on," said Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.

Sabia has co-written papers on the minimum wage before, one from 2015 suggesting a New York wage boost “reduced employment.”


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