Saturday, August 16, 2008

On the LGBT community response to a McCain Donation

Recently, the co-founderand chairman of Manhunt (a gay personals site), Jonathan Crutchley, maxed out his personal donation to the McCain campaign at $2300 and was first vilified as a "traitor to the cause" over at Towle and then on the Huffington thing, and has since been forced from his post as Chairman of the Board for the crime of supporting McCain with his private funds.

Crutchley's response to one writer is as below:

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at the level of vituperation and general hatefulness in response, but I'd allowed myself (perhaps foolishly) to believe that with this new generation that my community was beginning to take the blinders off and see that disagreement does not equate with heresy. I'd suggest my three readers pop over, take a good read, and then respond...please. These folks seem in vast need of a visit from the clue response is as below. I tried my best to not pick a fight, but :)


Frankly, both presumptive nominees are vile and likely to do the country vast harm in their tenure.

McCain's primary saving grace, and the reason I'll vote for him in November, is that he'll be faced with a DEM Congress. Were Congress held by a GOP Majority, I'd probably gag and hold my nose and vote for Obama. Whichever one is elected desperately needs a Congress that hates their very essence, to act as a ball and chain about their ankles.

Let's not kid ourselves - neither of them are good news, and will simply be disasters on different fronts/issues. For 2008, we're screwed.

To the extent we (the LGBT community) allow ourselves to be seen as an "owned constituency" of the Democratic Party (much as gun-owners are considered owned by the GOP) we piss away what influence we have by allowing the DNC to think we have no place else to go and the GOP to believe that no matter what they do, we will always hate and oppose them.

Neither view really inspires either party to really *work* for our votes - to the one we're a "gimme" and to the other we're beyond hope. Not good.

To the extent we ostracize Crutchley, the Log Cabin Republicans and similar groups, and groups like Pink Pistols - we shoot ourselves in the foot to the precise same extent by perpetrating the "DNC owns the LGBT community" paradigm to our detriment.

Intellectual honesty demands we admit that the libertarian, GOP, or conservative gay folks disagree more on means and scope with their more liberal brethren than on LGBT rights. I've never met a LGBT GOP sort who didn't support equality before the law, a Pink Pistols member who wasn't downright grim about LGBT safety issues, or a LGBT libertarian sort who didn't believe that LGBT folk had just as much right to be "left the hell alone" as anyone else.

Pro-LGBT doesn't require supporting abortion, US-funded worldwide poverty reduction programs, a particular defense or foreign policy, etc. There is even room for legitimate disagreement on whether hate crime laws have any practical effect and whether hate speech statutes violate the First Amendment.

Heavens, I've even seen LGBT folks who argue against LGBT marriage as a heterosexist institution that actively damages the uniqueness of our community (as it happens, I support same sex marriage as being good for our community).

In short, the scope of issues that defines "pro-LGBT" is really pretty narrow.

1) Bashing bad.
2) Equality before law good.
3) HIV/AIDS bad.
4) Orientation/gender discrimination usually bad.

Most other issues may be important to an awful lot of members of our community, but are not LGBT issues per se.

In turn, many LGBT folks do not consider LGBT issues to be the only important issues of the day and in their balancing of the issues important to them, may come to the conclusion that on some occasions, LGBT issues don't win in the balance.

Crutchley didn't commit treason. He, as a private individual, disagreed with many in the community with which presumptive nominee of two vile choices would best serve the nation as President in the face of a recession, two wars, and a resuscitation of the Cold War.

A boycott injures far more than Crutchley (i.e., Manhunt employees) and paints us as a bunch of intolerant and hateful goons no better than the Theocratic Right in their many boycotts.

The same is true of efforts to ostracize Crutchley. The man disagreed with many in the LGBT community - he didn't take up axe murder as a hobby.

I despise both presidential candidates for various reasons. I'm voting McCain because he'll not be able to accomplish nearly as much of his agenda.

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