MEANWHILE, MARYLAND’S POLITICIANS continue to betray their gay constituents. After the state’s high court, in a 4-3 ruling, upheld a state law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples, gay residents looked to their elected officials to right a judicial wrong. And once again, they are being let down.
While gay couples in committed, long-term relationships are still viewed as strangers under the law and remain desperately in need of a legislative remedy, lawmakers have turned their attention to more pressing matters, like banning cell phone use while driving and upholding a ban on online wine sales. This is not the behavior of courageous political leaders; it is the hallmark of cowards so desperate to hold onto power that they fear creating a ripple on the pond.
And this is in Maryland, a decidedly “blue” state where Democrats control both houses in the Assembly and the governor’s mansion. It’s become apparent that a full marriage rights bill is doomed and the state’s lawmakers aren’t even embracing the cop-out of civil unions. That’s not surprising, considering the powerful Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, a Democrat, opposes civil unions.
And what of the DNC, whose anti-gay meltdown we chronicled in January?
Apparently, they're now using pricey lawyers to threaten the LGBT press:
In the piece, I wrote that the DNC’s response to anti-gay remarks made by Gen. Peter Pace, President Bush’s former chair of the Joint Chiefs, was insufficient and weak.
In response, Daughtry sent two lawyers to the Blade’s offices to berate me and our publisher, Lynne Brown. The meeting was beyond contentious and featured lots of red-faced cursing and threatening of lawsuits. They claimed to represent Daughtry and not the DNC. But DNC officials have gloated behind the scenes that since the confrontation in the Blade’s offices, the paper has stopped writing about a gay man’s lawsuit against the party, his former employer. Donald Hitchcock accuses the DNC of firing him after his partner, Paul Yandura, publicly urged gay donors to think twice before giving money to the Democratic Party.
This is what happens to gay people who challenge Democrats to be better on our issues. Dean and others at the DNC have derided the Blade as right-wing birdcage liner. Both criticisms are absurd; no fair-minded person could reasonably consider the Blade a conservative publication and judging by the innumerable references to the Blade in the Hitchcock case depositions, DNC officials spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about what we write. They may line their birdcages with our pages, but not until they’ve read them cover to cover.
These people are those who claim to deserve your vote.
Given them absolute power as in Maryland, and they do nothing to advance equality under the law.
Criticize them in any way, and they send high-paid lawyers to curse, scream obscenities, and issue threats.
It's time for us to support candidates who stand for us -- and against these abuses of power. Outright's endorsed candidate for the Libertarian nomination, George Phillies, proudly embraces equality under the law and has a long history of fighting (and winning) battles for gay people and all Americans. If elected, he'll restore integrity to the White House and ensure that there's a place for gay people at the table beyond fundraisers and being the punching bags for wealthy Democrats' lawyers.