Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Dean Fires Liaison To Gay Community

Less than a week after Paul Yandura, a former member of the Clinton administration, criticized the Democratic National Committee for failing to develop a strategy to counter Republican-led efforts to enact gay marriage amendments in the states and nationally, Howard Dean fired Yandura's domestic partner, Donald Hitchcock, who served as the DNC's liaison to the GLBT community according to the Washington Blade. The Blade writes:

Hitchcock declined comment Tuesday night except to confirm that Dean informed him May 2 through a surrogate that he had been terminated. He said he was considering consulting an attorney to decide whether to contest the firing.

"This is retaliation, plain and simple," said Yandura. "This shows what they think about domestic partners."

Yandura said Tuesday night that Dean was using Hitchcock as a "scapegoat" for problems of Dean's own making.

"All I did was ask questions about what the party and Dean are doing about its GLBT constituency, Yandura said. "I have yet to see any answers."

The Blade says Dean's actions are particularly disappointing given the active role the GLBT community played in launching his grassroots campaign during his unsuccessful run for the presidency in 2004.


stAllio! said...

is there any actual evidence that this was retaliation? the timing is a bit suspicious, but it hardly proves anything. post hoc ergo proper hoc is a logical fallacy, after all.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I don't think there is any question it was in retaliation for what his lover had said--the nexus is just too apparent to overlook. Having said that, I don't believe it is an actionable employment claim in a legal sense. The problem lies in how Dean has gotten himself into the position of being criticized for failure to act, which led to the firing. Some might also argue a double standard. The Dems don't seem to blame James Carville for what Mary Matalin says or vice versa with the GOP.

Marla R. Stevens said...

Good points, Gary. I've never been shy about saying, "I told you so!", and, about my early warnings about Dean, I'm not going to change now.

Dean was and is no friend to the gay community. He is as much responsible as the religious political extremists in Vermont for Vermont settling for civil union sloppy seconds instead of the real civil marriage that we were on our way to getting had Dean not intervened (and slimily for personal gain with his eye squarely on the 2004 presidential election, no less.)

According to gay lobbyist/activist counterparts in Vermont, he exercised his now-famous temper, threatening to cut important social service funds -- including HIV-related ones -- if they didn't back away on Dean's legislative agenda, including civil unions versus equal access to civil marriage.

Our community's support for Dean was an exercise of being seduced by pretty form instead of taking the personal responsibility to investigate for evidence of function -- coupled with a sad lemming tendency born, I believe, of the cumulative effects of discrimination -- or maybe we are, in the aggregate, just politically and intellectually lazy Americans -- who knows...

It does appear that some well-placed opportunistic national scope political queers capitalized on queers' gullibility in such matters, fanning the Dean flames gaining not-small personal rewards in the bargain. I hope people will remember who these "leaders" were and hold them responsible for their part of the great hoodwinking.