Byron York has a great update on liberals trying to forcibly “out” gay staffers on Capitol Hill by circulating “The List” as reported first by David Corn.
As it turned out, at least two organizations apparently deleted the e-mail, either as part of routine file upkeep or because they weren’t interested in its contents. Others didn’t open the attachment — the list was included as a separate file — fearing that it contained a virus. And some opened it up and didn’t see much that was new. “We work on the Hill,” says one conservative activist. “There weren’t a lot of surprises on the list.” So far, the much hoped-for civil war doesn’t seem to be happening.
But the campaign to spread The List is accomplishing something. It is offering clues about who is behind it.
The version of The List sent to at least some of the conservative organizations originated from the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. That is the address of a California-based group, the Health Policy and Research Foundation, an organization devoted mostly to work involving AIDS, that is run by a businessman and former Democratic National Committee staffer named Rick Reidy.
A personal website, rickreidy.com, describes Reidy as a “business and public affairs adviser based in Los Angeles and Washington.” According to the site, Reidy worked for the Democratic National Committee in the 1980s, and today “counsels corporations, labor unions, and non-profit groups in strategies involving venture capital and government lobbying by drawing upon a wide range of personal and professional relationships.”
What seems clearer is that The List, now that it is in the hands of conservative organizations, is not having the effect that its proponents hoped it would. “They have this stereotype of us, the Christian right,” says one conservative activist, “and that stereotype is that we hate homosexuals. But that’s not the case and never has been, and that is why this is falling flat.”
Mary Katharine Ham over at TownHall echoes that in her posting about my reflections on attending the Carolina FreedomNet.
Since we are on the subject of gay conservatives so much of late, I’ll pull this quote. It warmed my heart:
GP: Lorie specifically said that if you have a unique perspective you get certain demographic and she said her audience includes a lot of gay conservatives. Then she said, “one of the best gay conservative sites is GayPatriot.” Yeaaaaaaa. And at a John Locke event to boot. And nope, I wasn’t stoned. I was embraced.
Imagine that, huh? If you’re surprised, you’re a liberal.
Finally, with regard to “The List”…. you can’t move the goalposts on this one. There is no shred of evidence that any Republicans are behind the “outing” effort. This is a liberal-only, politically-motivated smear campaign against gays working in government, and most likely a violation of the civil rights of these Federal employees.