Local government

Barre Diversity and Equity committee members reject pro-lifer, video & transcript show

One committee member defends Toborg’s inclusion in committee

By Guy Page

After William Toborg of Barre described how an angry pro-choice driver backed into him at the polls on Primary Day, August 9, other members of the city Diversity and Equity Committee told him he’s unfit to serve on the committee. 

Committee members Ellen Kaye and Emily Wheeler explicitly told Toborg he shouldn’t be on the committee because he opposes abortion. Chair Joelen Mulvaney said religiously-held views have no place on the committee. Afterwards she told Toborg she would mute him if he tries to speak at any future meeting – unless it’s to offer his resignation. 

The remaining committee member, Greg Quetel, disagreed with Kaye and Wheeler: “In the spirit of inclusion in the true sense I think we’re all made better when everyone can tolerate each other and accept them.”

The Barre City Council is reportedly scheduled to discuss the committee September 27. Mulvaney has prepared a new application process to “ferret out” unacceptable applicants, she said (see transcript below). 

On the YouTube recording of the August 12 meeting, the relevant discussion begins at 28:08. The transcript published below is lightly edited for ums, uhs and repetition. It begins after Mulvaney asks the group, ‘you want to do a roundtable and see how people are feeling about life and things in general? William, you got anything to say?”


Well I was the talk of the town. I don’t know if anyone saw that in the Times Argus a few days ago.


So, why don’t you say what it was about?


I was backed into by a van at the polls on Tuesday. 


You’re only telling one part of the story there, yeah, you’re just telling part of the story.


We had placed our van so that people could see it coming out, we had a message on the side of the van, and someone didn’t like the message, so she put her van next to it. So we moved our van, then moved it back, because she moved her van, so they wouldn’t see our message. Then it was a back and forth. Finally I moved the van and stood next to it and she backed right into me.


You’re also leaving out what the message was. What was the message?


We had a message, vote no on article 22.  


What was article 22?


It’s the proposed constitutional amendment.


Yeah, he wants to limit reproductive freedom – the state reproductive liberty amendment…..I don’t understand how you can be on an equity and diversity committee when you want to limit the rights of women.

Emily Wheeler:

I agree.


I don’t see how you can be on one when you want to –  well, I’m not going to get into that.


I have the floor….


But it does, Ellen, it does a lot more than that….


I don’t, William, I don’t….  I have the floor. You don’t need to interrupt me. You had your time with your round table and I’m going to say anybody who wants to limit the rights of people to not have full agency over their bodies probably doesn’t belong in a diversity and equity committee.

Emily Wheeler

I agree with Ellen 100 percent. I don’t understand that attitude and how you could think you belong here.

Greg Quetel

Well, that’s an interesting conversation. However I will say this. We all belong here. If it’s going to be something where you need to bring people together, you can have different opinions, different ideas and thoughts, and you know, the only way we can teach other anything is by coming together. We can’t go ahead and say that somebody doesn’t belong here because of their position on any particular issue, because there’s learning to be done by all and there’s some thinking to be done by all. In the spirit of inclusion in the true sense I think we’re all made better when everyone can tolerate each other and accept them.


We don’t have a choice really of who serves on this committee. The way that it has operated in the past and the way it still is operating until we change it, if we do decide to change it, is that people go directly to city council. That interview serves to them as the application. The whole reason that I wrote a new application process is to ferret this out right from the beginning. 

Because when we talk about equity, when we talk about justice, these are things that are not religious attitudes. These are things that belong in the political realm and in the social realm. It’s really important for us to examine what that means for each of us, and certainly for me, I’m sorry, but it is unequitable, it is not fair for women to not be allowed to control their own bodies. This is not a question of…. this is a question of legality, it’s not a question of religion. And I understand, William, because I was raised Catholic as well, I totally understand the seamless garment which means that all life, you’re against capital punishment, all of this, I totally get it, but this is not a religious issue. This is a social issue and it’s a legal issue….. 

There’s room for all of us as human beings but there’s not room for all attitudes and all ideas when it comes to the law. There is separation of church and state and we have to be very clear about that we are not religious affiliated as a community.

(To hear the rest of the conversation, click on the video above.)

Categories: Local government

22 replies »

  1. Do either Mulvaney or Kaye realize their belief system is very much like any religious belief system that includes or excludes those who don’t accept the “law” of the system. And contrary to their committee name, their system denies diversity or equity based on their beliefs. Ironic isn’t it?

  2. William Toborg, You are a brave man being persecuted by closed-minded, far-left politico-secular-religious fanatics,too angry and clueless to know how inclusiveness really works. God bless your efforts. Greg Quetal understands, but to these women who worship at the altar of a selfrighteous and sleazy brand of feminism, anything akin to Judeo-Christian values just isn’t cool enough. I am certain they are grateful that their mothers didn’t abort them.So if you and I do not stand with their programs of anarchy, we will not be standing, to use a threatening statement by equally lame transgender activists who beat up people, who dare oppose them..
    These Barre Diversity&Equity freaks remind me of the Nazi brownshirts from the thirties.

  3. Diversity and Equity=Neoliberal Bourgeois Hegemony
    When I brought a Vietnamese,a Ugandan, a Afghani, and an Argentinian immigrant to a diversity and Equity board online, the Liberal board members were overjoyed to see these “people of color”
    But as soon as they gave their points and opinions the smiles flipped and the board members quietly kicked them out.
    The people I had brought were people of culture, not color. These people were not content to have some liberal assign them a culture.

  4. I’m very relieved to see that Vermonters are speaking up in support of William Toburg. I’m worried about the level of thoughtless-ness I see reported in Vermont and the willingness of way too many elected/appointed officials to embrace the Global Order Garbage. I would have expected more people to be aware of when they are being played by powerful and corrupt forces.

  5. I’m starting to understand the kind of “diversity and equity” these people are proponents of, and also the kinds of people they’re trying to “ferret out.”

  6. Wow. The intolerance of the women serving on a commitee such as this is incredible. Ellen was taunting, rude and disrespectful. I can’t believe these women represent Barre. Props to those poor guys who have to serve with them.

  7. These tyrants are from the Orwellian school of totalitarianism. They preach so called “diversity and equity” but it’s a version of their own Orwellian newspeak. Their mission is to narrow the range of thought and expression to meet their own needs to own the narrative. They are most definitely not interested in diversity and equity outside of their narrow political spectrum (most need not apply). These Progressives are the very same people who have those “hate has no home here” lawn signs but generally hate most everyone outside of their regressive and totalitarian spectrum. Vermonters need to continue to highlight these scoundrels for their ill intent to rule and control them.

  8. seems to me that these diversity and equity boards are only for themselves and NOT for what they claim they stand for. Their way or the highway. We do not need people telling everyone that they ARE going to be censored and booted from this board if they do not conform. THIS is why these boards are dangerous.HOW is it that they wield so much power??

    • These boards only wield power if you and I give them the authority to. We may accept their findings and ideas or reject them as the product of insolent children, if desired.
      The whole episode is Orwellian, with any results passing from this committee to the City being tainted by the antics of the members.
      While I suspect some of the members are wallowing in self-righteous indignation, these members are in fact and definition, incapable of serving on the Diversity and Equity board.

  9. Reproductive freedom, ’tis an interesting concept, isn’t it. Seems to me if one chooses not to bear a living breathing child that they could keep their pants around their waist or use a form of protection. Or maybe perhaps these should have been the first beings aborted if they despise life so much.

  10. How does she not see the hypocrisy of her words? She will literally be doing what she supposedly stands against (while chairing this committee) by “ferreting out” the people whose thought or beliefs efs she does not like or agree with. 🤦🏻‍♀️

  11. Hats off to Mr. Quetel for speaking words of wisdom of the true spirit of inclusion and more. It was impressive how Mr. Toborg maintained his composure while Ms. Kaye so rudely and predictably “shut him down.” She has been trained “well.” The Barre City Council should decide if this committee is to be a dictatorship or be true to its name. There is little less flattering than hypocrisy.

  12. The chair of this committee represents a governmental body, the city council. She has expressly violated Mr. Toborg’s constitutional first amendment rights by telling him he is forbidden to express his views. This violation is unacceptable and opens the city of Barre to legal action. The city should issue an apology to Mr. Toborg post haste and dismiss Ms. Mulvaney from all her duties. Failure to do so only compounds the issue and makes the council directly complicit in the offense.

  13. These “woke” women carry the spirit of Jezebel. They gaslight, they lie, they cheat, and use school yard bully tactics like the “Mean Girls.” The Truth is they are insecure, unfilled, unhappy, miserable malcontents. They are nothing more than expendable marienettes prancing on the strings pulled by their Master. The day of judgment is upon them as their twisted tongues fail them and they are exposed.

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