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.

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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.