While many gay activists accuse Republicans of being anti-gay, some leading Republicans, including my great Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, sign pro-gay legislation and reach out to gay citizens. As Mayor of New York, my man for ’08, Rudy Giuliani signed a domestic partnership policy into law — one of the first in the nation. While other Republican leaders do not live up to the examples of these two fine leaders, some are often doing good in smaller ways.
Such was the case yesterday when Maryland’s Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich fired Robert J. Smith “his state’s representative on the board of directors of the D.C. area Metro subway and bus system” when he learned that Smith had “referred to gay men and lesbians as ‘sexual deviants.’” In a statement, Ehrlich said:
Robert Smith’s comments were highly inappropriate, insensitive and unacceptable. . . . They are in direct conflict to my administration’s commitment to inclusiveness, tolerance and opportunity.
Ehrlich fired Smith fewer than four hours after openly-gay D.C. Council member Jim Graham, who also serves on the Metro Board, “demanded Smith’s resignation.” Later, Graham said that, “Governor Ehrlich got it. . . . He recognized the seriousness of this situation.“
Kudos, Governor Ehrlich. Let’s hope that, like Jim Graham, other Democrats acknowledge this Republican’s swift response to a mean-spiritied remark.
(H/t: Washington Blade)