Sunday, March 05, 2006

GLBT Community Takes On Hillary

Many gay Democrats are starting to speak out against Hillary Clinton’s duplicity when it comes to gay civil rights. Washington Blade editor Chris Crain is the latest to take on Clinton. Crain recounts how New York’s leading gay rights lobbyist, Alan Van Capelle, sent an e-mail to board members of his organization calling Hillary “a huge disappointment” and vowed never “to lend [his] name and sell tickets” to her fundraisers.

The biggest beef gay activists have with Clinton is her stubborn belief that gays are not entitled to marriage. Crain, says that Hillary, like her husband, has perfected a “minuet: dance with the gays, take their money, their votes and their praise, but cut in with the next available dancer whenever the moves look too risky.” Crain has some biting words for her opposition to gay marriage:

Clinton's haughtiness on marriage is particularly galling given her own rocky experience with the institution. She did vote against an unprecedented amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban gays from marrying, but to do otherwise would have been unthinkable for her politically.

In her speech on the Senate floor, she said, "I believe marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman." Another reality check: She's known for decades that in her own case the institution was never so limited and in fact was a not-so-sacred bond between a man and several women, including his wife and untold Gennifers, Monicas and others.

Hillary opposes allowing gays to marry in New York, and she backed the Defense of Marriage Act, signed by philandering Bill, which not only deprives married gay couples of federal legal recognition, it allows states to ignore marriage licenses issued to gay couples in Massachusetts or elsewhere. With that kind of track record, Van Capelle rightly argued that there's no good reason for New York gays to throw good money after bad support.

A particularly damning observation by Van Capelle is the fact that she stands alone among the Empire State's statewide Democrats running this year in opposing gay marriage. Crain sums up his feelings on Clinton:

Let's get this straight. Hillary Rodham Clinton can't support gay marriage because she's running for president. Because we all know Hillary Rodham Clinton has a great shot being elected president so long as she doesn't back gay marriage . . . So let's take a cue from Van Capelle and save our “Equality Awards” and “Courage Awards,” not to mention our fund-raisers and campaign mailers, for those candidates who support our full equality and are willing to say why.

Knowing what the Clintons are all about, Crain’s criticism of Hillary is probably music to her ears because it makes her appear “less liberal” to “mainstream voters.”

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