Friday, January 25, 2008

Breaking News: The Democrats' Big Queer Meltdown

Big news on a historic meltdown within the Democrats' party organization over gay rights. But first, a brief history of Democrat homophobia.

Outright Libertarians has been telling gay voters for years about our interactions with Democratic Party affiliates.

How they've actively deceived the electorate, time and again. How they've created phony "grassroots" support. How they've manipulated "non-partisan" groups such as HRC and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund to be fonts of the Democrats' propaganda. And how they've apologized for the Democratic Party's execrable record on LGBT equality, ranging from Clinton-era anti-gay laws like the military ban and DOMA to 2004's Kerry-Edwards endorsements of anti-gay state marriage amendments, to today's ongoing dishonest campaigning by Obama, Clinton and others on basic issues.

However, with the contempt of Democratic LGBT groups seems to have spread to infect the Democratic National Committee itself with a bizarre sort of homophobia reminiscent of the "self-loathing" that many queer Democrats accuse their rivals in other parties of. And this time, it's being noticed not just by Libertarians, but by the national LGBTQ press.

more . . .

Take, for instance, Andrew Tobias's laughable lie attempting to cover for Howard Dean's homophobic outburst on Pat Robertson's television show. The efforts to stretch the facts were so insulting to the intelligence of the average voter that even Tobias had to recant his story.

But even that is nothing compared to the Democrats' birds coming home to roost in the media today.

You may recall that former Democrat Party gay outreach director Donald Hitchcock was fired by Howard Dean after his husband published an open letter critical of the Democrats' hypocrisy on gay issues.

Hitchcock retaliated by filing a lawsuit against the DNC, Howard Dean, and a number of other top Democrats. As part of his civil lawsuit alleging defamation of character by the Democrats, he has filed e-mail trails as evidence. Some of this evidence has leaked to the LGBTQ press, and the content is shocking (albeit not surprising to Outright).

In 2006, one Democrat candidate for office barely survived a homophobic primary campaign waged against her, replete with an anti-gay tirade and severe pressure from high-ups in the Democrat machine to exclude her. In a letter to Democrat LGBTQ fundraiser Brian Bond, one very angry (anonymous) member of Stonewall Democrats (Outright's analogue in the Democrat side of the house) called for Democrats to "drive the [homophobic] snakes from the DNC."

The Stonewall leader goes on to note that there's a:

vast public perception that [DNC Chair Howard] Dean is a fuck-up [sic] among Congressional Democrats, the LGBT community, the media and most of America

The exchange also refers to DNC CEO (and religious-right homophobe) Leah Daughtry as a "cancerous sore." This would not be the first time that Daughtry has been accused of homophobia -- reports of her lack of support of LGBT equality (particularly in marriage) are well-established, and it was Daughtry who personally informed Hitchcock that he was terminated.

Funnier, still, are efforts by the Democrats to scheme against gay periodicals who don't offer fawning coverage. Since the Washington Blade reported "bad" news about the Democrats (such as Howard Dean's 700 club interview), and refused to paint a perfect picture, numerous DNC luminaries including Director of Communications Karen Finney and deputy finance director Julie Tagen plan to "give" scoops to competitors (who presumably will return the favor by not printing any "bad" news). In a contemptuous sniff of derision at the LGBT press, Tagen notes that she prefers to "line bird cages" with their material.

Meanwhile, Queerty notes the backlash and also the DNC's efforts at damage control:

Today we hear that gay activist and former National Stonewall Democrats executive committee member Lee Bolin wants to see deputy finance director Julie Tagen fired.


We called the DNC for a statement regarding Bolin’s burning desire. Though staffers can’t comment, DNC Chief Counsel Joe Sandler sent over this statement:

"The DNC has consistently refrained from commenting about ongoing litigation out of respect for the legal process and to protect the interests of everyone involved. It is therefore unfortunate that Donald Hitchcock has chosen to abuse the discovery process by selectively leaking documents."

We can’t say where we got the documents, but we can say we don’t find anything “unfortunate” about it...

If that was the only news, the meltdown would seem contained. But it's not the only news. There's more!

Queerty also covers Daughtry's bigotry and quotes Howard Dean's laughable full-denial defense (despite ample and growing evidence of Daughtry's "nonprogressive" views on gay people):

Anyone who truly knows Leah and her values appreciates her deep commitment to fighting for fairness and equality for everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, and any insinuation otherwise is irresponsible and despicable.

Of course, this is hardly the first time Howard Dean has tasted his own shoe, and we doubt it will be the last.

So the record so far for the "Democratic" Party?

1) It delivered the two worst anti-gay federal laws, DOMA and the military's anti-gay policy, with presidential signatures (and a large number of supporters on the Dem side of the aisle).

2) It raised millions of dollars from gay people, yet spent almost none of that money campaigning against anti-gay constitutional amendments in 2004 and 2006. In fact, John Kerry was an outspoken supporter of anti-gay state DOMAs in Massachusetts and Missouri.

3) When this pattern of misconduct became too much for longtime Democratic activist Paul Yandura to take, he wrote an open letter calling for Democrats to improve their record on gay issues and encouraging gay contributors to withhold financial and voter support until the Democrats' terrible gay record improved.

4) To retaliate against Yandura, the DNC fired Yandura's husband, Donald Hitchcock. Hitchcock alleged in a lawsuit filed in early 2007 that after that point, the DNC, led by wealthy queer attack dog Claire Lucas, began to defame him publicly and privately. Lucas, in possible contempt of court, refused to testify in a subpoenaed deposition to address Hitchcock's charges, and may have also perjured herself in her efforts to avoid testifying.

5) Documents from Hitchcock's suit show a Democratic National Committee working hand-in-hand with Stonewall Democrats to actively deceive and manipulate the queer press into refusing to cover the issues that matter most -- complaining about a press that we have already established is already far too unjustifiably supportive of the DNC and its candidates.

6) Homophobia in public and in private continues to originate from senior Democrat leaders, including Howard Dean and Leah Daughtry.

7) Leading Democrat contenders including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continue to demand gay votes and financial support despite opposing marriage equality, courting homophobes, and refusing to take even a minimal leadership position on such non-controversial issues as ending the military's unpopular anti-gay ban.

All of this adds up to a political establishment in the "Democratic" Party that is profoundly dishonest, mendacious, misleading, contemptuous, arrogant and homophobic.

Gay voters would serve themselves much better by withholding their money and votes until Democrats take steps to earn those votes -- steps that will be a long time coming. Some respectful dialogue with the gay press, a calling off of the attack dogs, some non-homophobic positions, an end to pandering, an end to nepotist assaults on queer critics, an end to transparent lies to the community to "explain away" Howard Dean Homophobic-Foot-In-Mouth Syndrome, and a commitment to spend a significant amount of queer contributions on queer causes (such as stopping anti-gay laws) would be a minimal start.

Or better still, gay voters can get involved with the Libertarian Party, which enjoys an excellent relationship with the LGBT community, proudly supports marriage equality, spends significant resources defending the rights of gay people from Democrats and Republicans alike, and enjoys an Outright-endorsed candidate in its presidential nominating process who takes a message of equality to the law to places friendly and hostile while refusing to knuckle under to anti-gay attacks from the left or the right.

You can count on Outright Libertarians to continue to monitor the Democrats' homophobic meltdown and to provide commentary and insight as the meltdown accelerates.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Washington Times coverage

The Washington Times gave us some ink (and not because we were selling a car):

Different George

Former Republican George Phillies has just been endorsed for the 2008 Libertarian Party presidential nomination by the executive committee of "Outright Libertarians."

Who and who?

First, Outright Libertarians identify themselves as the country's most influential LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Libertarian organization.

As for the 60-year-old Mr. Phillies, a scientist and college physics professor who previously served in the U.S. Army Reserves, he says he was a Republican until the late 1980s, abandoning the party when the government and deficit "got bigger," taxes "kept going up," and the party's social agenda got on the "wrong track."

"I am not a social conservative," he explains. "When George Bush attached himself to the 'Christian Right', he took the Republican Party his way, and I went my way."


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Outright Libertarians Endorses George Phillies for Libertarian Presidential Nomination

I recently saw a message from Log Cabin Republicans entitled "Who Can Log Cabin Endorse for President?" The article described how this may be the first brokered GOP convention in 60 years, and that Log Cabin would be working to see that the lesser of evils with respect to gay rights would win the GOP nomination.

In contrast, we at Outright Libertarians have had an embarrassment of riches this year, with three of our candidates getting a perfect score on our scorecard, and the one who differed with us on marriage at least matching Clinton and Obama (and surpassing all of the Republicans) by supporting civil unions. We had a serious debate in our Executive Committee as to whether we ought to make any endorsement at all prior to the LP nominating convention in Denver.

But in the final analysis, there was only one Libertarian with a perfect score on our scorecard who was actively campaigning (for himself, not for some major-party candidate), who had a truly national campaign, who was receiving media attention (including magazines and television), and who has continued to receive FEC-reportable campaign contributions that are better than any Libertarian candidate in recent history.

For these reasons, the Executive Committee of Outright Libertarians voted on January 16 to endorse George Phillies for the 2008 Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination.

From his interview in The Advocate magazine, to his one-liner response to a marriage equality question at a debate in socially conservative Fresno, California -- "We've already solved that problem in Massachusetts" -- we can tell that Dr. Phillies would never try to rationalize anti-LGBT bigotry as a way to "grow" the Libertarian Party. He recognizes that Liberty is impossible so long as the boot of big government remains on the neck of any disfavored minority group.

Outright Libertarians proudly supports George Phillies and calls on all of our members and allies to attend the Libertarian National Convention in Denver this May and cast their nominating vote for Dr. Phillies.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Have They No Shame?

You've gotta wonder sometimes. Courtesy of Queerty:

Tobias recently sent a message to gay Democratic donors claiming that Chairman Howard Dean did not know he was being interview for the 700 Club back in 2006.


Dean misspoke during that interview and claimed the Democrats believed marriage to be between one man and one woman.

Actually, he went further than that and claimed the Democratic platform stated that.

The storm of criticism was fierce and many gay contributors to the Democratic Party decided to withhold support as a result. But Tobias has a super-slick cover story:

Howard was NOT a guest on the 700 Club. He agreed to an interview with the CBN/ABC Family channel. Our feeling is that we can’t ignore the millions of people who watch CBN/ABC Family Channel programs just because Pat Robertson happens to be on for 30 minutes a day and grabs news content from the network.

There's just one problem. Tobias was lying.

CBN reporter David Brody confirmed this weekend, however, that Dean was well aware of the journalist’s outlet: “When I interviewed Gov. Dean in 2006 he and his staff knew it was for the 700 Club. That was made very clear.”

And Tobias's response?

Tobias reportedly defended himself this weekend by saying he had been “misinformed” by a DNC staffer.

There's no word about whether the supposedly "misinformed" staffer was Dean himself. And, of course, the Democrats have not issued apologies for Howard Dean's homophobic comments nor Tobias's effort to insult the intelligence of gay voters.

Fact-Correcting the Queer Press

As the endless old-party primary process slogs on, replete with glittering generalities and shameless efforts to pander and mislead, I figured that this article in the Southern Voice needed some factual correction.

So, without further ado. . .

With Hillary Clinton fresh off a crucial win in New Hampshire and Barack Obama still riding on his win in Iowa, local gay voters acknowledge they are torn between the two.

That would be local gay Democratic voters, of course. Many of us insist on voting for actual pro-gay candidates.

Both tDemocratic [sic] presidential candidates claim nearly the same stance on gay issues such as repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as well as providing legal protections for gay couples.

Neither Democratic candidate has introduced companion legislation to the Military Readiness Enhancement Act which actually would repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, despite years in the Senate (and the fact that the MREA is so old that it was originally introduced into the House by a Congressman, Marty Meehan, who has since retired).

Both candidates are also opposed to marriage equality, rendering their commitment to "legal protections for gay couples" questionable at best.

But John Edwards, also a strong gay rights rter, [sic] seems to have lost his footing in the race, according to University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock.

I assume that the article was claiming that John Edwards is a "strong gay rights supporter," but that's difficult to reconcile with his extremely poor record on issues including marriage equality. The former Senator even stood up at last year's LOGO Democratic debate on gay issues to declare that he opposes gay marriage.

How that translates into "strong gay rights support" fails to be seen. But perhaps I got the missing word wrong and it's really "punter."

Ben Labolt, a national spokesperson for the Obama campaign, said the campaign was definitely seeking gay support in Georgia and referred calls to Drenner for further comments.

Press releases from the Obama campaign listing Georgia supporters don’t include other notable gay leaders.

I guess that would be called "support from the closet."

Clinton’s campaign released a list of Georgia supporters with several prominent gay and lesbian leaders

I guess that's a little better, although it begs the question what constitutes a "leader" (which, like "strong support," remains undefined.)

“[Clinton’s] doing a good job of actively reaching out to gay voters,” she said. While there is not a great deal of difference on gay issues among the Democratic candidates, Demorest said, it is Clinton’s experience and how effective she can be in the White House that resulted in her backing.

I suppose that, if pandering to the right by refusing to criticize a homophobic general's comments on gay people being "immoral," and sharing a similar do-nothing attitude vis-a-vis equal military service, marriage equality, immigration equality, and tax treatment equality counts as "experience," then Mrs. Clinton is very experienced.

Of course, it's still not giving gay people a lot of reason to support her.

On the Republican side, there is obviously not much gay outreach

This quite possibly qualifies as the understatement of the year so far in the queer press.

When he introduced himself to Romney as the president of Georgia’s LCR, Ensley said Romney “looked like a deer caught in headlights, and then mumbled something awkwardly and smiled. I told our national office after meeting him that if Gov. Romney is the answer, then it was a stupid question.”

Your faithful blogger got to meet the former Massachusetts governor at the Conservative Leadership Conference in Reno, Nevada and concluded that Romney is just as pandering and principle-free as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the other Democrats. In fact, they could swap places and not many people would notice.

His meeting with Giuliani went better, Ensley said, with the former New York mayor thanking him for his support.

Never mind that Giuliani is on the record as backtracking on ending the anti-gay military ban and has flip-flopped on marriage equality, stating recently that even New Hampshire's civil union law "goes too far."

Wow. What a leader.

But as a political activist, he said he knows Clinton, Obama, Edwards as well as Gov. Bill Richards, [sic] Giuliani and even Ron Paul are receiving significant gay grassroots support.

Considering that former governor Richardson has exited the race, and that Ron Paul has no significant gay support that I've been able to discern as a longtime gay Libertarian activist, one wonders how plugged in he is.

So basically, gay voters have three choices this election season.

They can throw their support to Democrats, who define "outreach" as segregation of gay people into "separate and unequal" legal status; who argue about which is "bolder" by naming so-called partisan gay "leaders" as supporters (or keeping them in the closet, in Obama's case); and who claim to be "supporters of gay rights" yet have done literally nothing after years in the Senate to support even the most rudimentary (and aging) legislation pertaining to equality under the law.

Or they can throw their support to Republicans, who flee at the mention of gay people; thank gay people for their "support" while supporting anti-gay policies; or have the dubious distinction of politically and/or financially profiting from homophobic public statements or publications.

Or they can choose to support Libertarians, who unequivocally support equal treatment in marriage, taxation, immigration, military service, and adoption.

It's not a tough choice for those of us who are aware of the differences (and insist on quality gay journalism, something that's increasingly hard to find in the political arena).

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Progress is hard work, but it pays off

Thanks to the increasing profile of the LP due to your hard work in the field (and a compelling slate of Libertarian candidates in the last several elections) The Advocate has devoted significant attention to the libertarian movement and its principal entity, the Libertarian Party, within the LGBT movement this election cycle.

While the article was originally intended to discuss a Republican candidacy, it delves into a surprisingly detailed examination of LGBTQ issues from a Libertarian perspective and cites Outright's Chair Rob Power, ensuring that the libertarian voice on gay issues is clearly heard.

“The LP offers an uncompromising stance on equal rights regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity -- with sexual rights in the Libertarian platform for more than three decades,” says Rob Power, who chairs Outright Libertarians

In these uncertain political times, where gay people are a bloc to be bought, sold and traded within the cynical politics of old-party primaries, it's refreshing to see principle and equality under the law brought to to the table. As always, Libertarians will tirelessly fight to defend the rights of all people under the law, without compromise.