Lawmaker Requests Apology for 'Vagina' Backlash

Onondaga Rep. Barb Byrum, along with two advocate groups, asks Michigan House Republicans to apologize for banning Byrum and West Bloomfield Rep. Lisa Brown from speaking on bill last month. Take our poll to tell us what you think!

A state representative who claimed that she and colleague Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield) were banned from speaking on the House floor after a disagreement about decorum Wednesday morning demanding an apology.

Rep. Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga, joined by representatives from the liberal groups Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy For America, claimed that more than 115,000 people from around the nation signed the petition, aimed at House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall).

Brown, a Jewish mother of three, claimed she was barred from speaking after referencing her own vagina at the end of a speech on House Bill 5711. She said that the abortion legislation forces contradictory religious beliefs upon her and others.

The remark went viral amid concerns that the House GOP majority went too far in banning Brown for using what she referred to as the "medically correct term."

, writer and original star of The Vagina Monologues, descended upon Lansing to protest on June 15. Thousands turned out for a special performance of the 1996 solo show-turned-international hit.

Bolger's spokesman, Ari Adler, claimed that House Democrats are using the issue as a "distraction," according to reports.

"We’re focused on moving Michigan forward, and the House Democrats are welcome to join us whenever they are ready," Adler said.

While I applaud the female legislators and wish their colleagues would behave like grown ups, an apology that is insincere doesn't seem adequate. The damage is done, yet Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum can sleep well at night knowing they have made so many of us proud. Keep up the good work.
Leslie Ellis July 19, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Thanks for your comment, Kim!
Diane Brus July 19, 2012 at 01:05 PM
As a female I am embarrassed over all of this. What no one seems to comprehend is that this is NOT over the use of the "V" word, it has to do with the tone and manner of what was said! If anyone should apologize it should be Lisa Brown.... she was disrespectful and rude. No one would be allowed to speak in the manner in which she was speaking irregardless of the "V" word!
Kevin Moser July 20, 2012 at 10:03 AM
I totally disagreed with the ban and was saddend these people imposed it, but I think it is time for these people to get back to serving the needs of the people and let this go. I believe it now is nothing more than political posturing. I know some will disagree with me and that is fine, just an opinion.


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