SAN DIEGO — The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce canceled a hearing on minimum wage hikes Wednesday in light of a report about homophobic and sexist blog posts by one of the scheduled witnesses — a San Diego State University professor.
Economics professor and Center for Health Economics and Policy Studies Director Joseph Sabia was scheduled to testify Wednesday morning before the committee against a federally mandated $15 minimum wage. According to Politico, the committee scrubbed the hearing at the 11th hour due to the discovery of blog posts written by Sabia when he was a doctoral student at Cornell University in the early 2000s.
The blog posts have since been deleted, according to Politico, but can still be found via the internet archival website Wayback Machine.
“In gay sex, we have an activity that is clearly leading to disastrous health consequences,” Sabia wrote in one post, an attempt at a metaphor for campaigns against high-fat foods. “What rational person would engage in this sort of activity? There is only one solution — let’s tax it.”
In another post, Sabia suggests that young women on college campuses “are encouraged to be whores.”
“I regret the hurtful and disrespectful language I used as a satirical college opinion writer 20 years ago,” Sabia said in a statement Wednesday. “I am a gay man in a long-term, committed relationship and these charges of homophobia deeply hurt both me and my family.”
According to SDSU, Sabia had planned at the committee hearing to cite his research showing that minimum wage hikes do not lead to higher poverty rates but would lead to higher prices and “substantial” job losses.
“The language and sentiments expressed in these posts are counter to the values of any institution which supports the principles of diversity and inclusion,” according to a statement from the university. “SDSU unequivocally rejects any sentiment which seeks to undermine or devalue the dignity of any person based on their gender, orientation, ability or any other difference among people which has been an excuse for misunderstanding, dissension or hatred.”