Perhaps “hate” is a strong word, but Howard Dean definitely suffers from “foot-in-mouth” disease when it comes to gay Americans.
Two Thursdays ago, on March 6, Dean did a flurry of early morning television interviews on the political news du jour – the race for delegates and taking on Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the general election – before heading to the law offices of Bernabei & Wachtel for the start of a 6 Â½ hour grilling about why he authorized the firing of the DNC’s gay and lesbian outreach director, Donald Hitchcock.
Hitchcock filed his suit against the DNC last spring, a year after he was fired, alleging the DNC discriminated against him because he’s gay and retaliated against him because his life partner, well-known Democratic activist Paul Yandura, publicly criticized the Democratic Party for not doing more to fight anti-gay ballot initiatives. Hitchcock is asking for unspecified damages and severance pay.
The lawsuit and Dean’s deposition, a copy of which was obtained by the Sleuth, has dredged up long simmering tensions between the DNC and gay Democrats.
Dean sparked the ire of the gay community when he said in an interview in May of 2006 on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club” hosted by evangelist Pat Robertson that the Democratic Party platform from 2004 states “marriage is between a man and a woman.”
He also defended his admittedly challenged gaydar while explaining why he doesn’t have a tally on the number of gay people he has appointed to the DNC. He doesn’t always know who’s gay. Even his gay staffers don’t have 100 percent accuracy in pinpointing other people’s sexual orientations, Dean said.
Can someone explain to me exactly why is Dean going around trying to snuff-out gays working at the DNC?Â Sounds like a witchhunt similar to what liberal gay activists have undertaken before.
“Mr. [Andy] Tobias is openly gay, right? Yes,” Dean said, answering his own question. “But he has been wrong about how many people are gay before. He was shocked the other day. We did a big gay fundraiser and he couldn’t believe those people were gay.” (Tobias is treasurer of the DNC.)
Dean said that the Republican Party has scapegoated every ethnic group and therefore can’t create a multicultural identity and reach younger voters.
â€œThey can’t become more diverse,â€ Dean said. â€œWho in their right mind, if they were African American or Hispanic or Asian American, if they were gay or lesbian, would join the Republican Party?â€
Perhaps Dean can consult on his personal comfort issues with gay people with fellow Democrat, John Edwards.
In the book, he says he asked former Sen. John Edwards at the outset of his 1998 Senate campaign, â€œWhat is your position, Mr. Edwards, on gay rights?â€
â€œI’m not comfortable around those people,â€ was Edwards’ reply, according to Shrum.
Is there some hangup that Democrat leaders have with gays that they must refer to us as “those people”?Â They don’t seem to care when “us people” send them “our money” to fund the DNC’s divisive identity politics strategy.