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Posts for September, 2010

Hey, Geoff Kors, don’t lie to me and try to use my orientation for your partisan agenda

This commentary is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin.

Timothy Kincaid

September 16th, 2010

I’m gay. That means that my romantic, affectionate, and sexual attraction are towards persons of the same sex. It does NOT mean that the Democratic Party has the right to expect my loyalties, my money, or my vote. And it especially does not mean that self coronated gay leaders have the right to lie to me and try to use my affiliation with my community as a tool to advance their own personal power or the candidate of their choosing.

I am annoyed to the point of venting (obviously) with leaders of gay organizations who think that they can “deliver the gay vote.” But I’m a bit used to it.

What I am not used to, and refuse to become used to, is being lied to in the process.

But that is what Geoff Kors, the Executive Director of Equality California, is doing. A few weeks ago I got this from Kors:

Yes on 8 supporter Meg Whitman has stepped up her anti-marriage equality campaign.

Late yesterday, she joined Attorney General Candidate Steve Cooley by saying that, if elected, she will use the state’s vast resources to defend Prop. 8 in court.

But it simply isn’t true. Whitman did NOT say that ” if elected, she will use the state’s vast resources to defend Prop. 8 in court” and what is more, she couldn’t if she wanted to. The date to appeal Perry v. Schwarzenegger has passed and the court has said that it will not be making exceptions to its deadlines, so unless Whitman has a hot tub time machine she can’t do anything about it.

The case will be heard in early December and Whitman would not be sworn in until late January. My prediction is that the appeal will be dismissed due to lack of standing. But assuming that it goes forward, and assuming that it drags on for two months, the most Whitman could do is file an amicus brief, something she can do today if she wishes.

What Whitman actually said is:

“The issue right now is, as I understand it, is ‘Will Proposition 8 have the appropriate support to actually make an appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals?’

“I think the governor of California and the attorney general today have to defend the Constitution and have to enable the judicial process to go along … and an appeal to go through,” Whitman said. “So if I was governor, I would give that ruling standing to be able to appeal to the circuit court.” [emphasis mine]

But that is a long long way from “if elected, she will use the state’s vast resources.” And while I disagree that the governor and attorney general have an obligation to appeal, that is hardly an outrageous, homophobic, or bigoted position. And further Whitman made no reference to resources but only to “give that ruling standing.”

While Kors is stretching the truth there, it at least has a passing relationship to the facts. But then yesterday this showed up in my email:

Dear Timothy,

Meg Whitman made history today in her attempt to buy herself the governor’s office. She has now spent more of her own money than any candidate in our nation’s history: a whopping $119 million!

We have to fight back!

Not a dime of this money is going to our schools, to healthcare or to advance equality. In fact, she is spending all this money so she can then spend your and my taxpayer dollars on a lawsuit to overturn the Federal District court decision that declared Prop. 8 unconstitutional.

Equality California Political Action Committee is working to defeat Whitman, Cooley, Fiorina and all candidates who would stand in the way of full equality. We can win these races if we can turn out the vote. But we can’t do that without your support.

Help us fight Whitman’s checkbook by contributing today.

The cost of having Meg Whitman as our next governor is too great.

In solidarity,

Geoff Kors
Executive Director
Equality California PAC

What a great big pile of steaming partisancrap.

First off, not a dime of ANY CANDIDATE’s election fund is “going to our schools, to healthcare or to advance equality.” Not Jerry Brown’s campaign, not Kamala Harris’, not even a cent of the money that he raises through this email will be “going to our schools, to healthcare or to advance equality.” But while that’s deceptive and petty, at least it isn’t a blatant lie.

This is:

In fact, she is spending all this money so she can then spend your and my taxpayer dollars on a lawsuit to overturn the Federal District court decision that declared Prop. 8 unconstitutional.

Really, Geoff? That’s why she’s running?

When, exactly, did Whitman say that she was seeking “a lawsuit to overturn the Federal District court decision”? Oh, she didn’t.

And when did she make opposing Prop. 8 a central part of her campaign? Oh, she hasn’t.

And will she be spending a cent of taxpayer dollars to defend Prop. 8? Oh, she can’t. Nor did she say that she would if she could.

But Kors feels perfectly entitled to try and deliver my vote and my dollars by lying to me.

Look, I don’t mind when a partisan group (which EQCA clearly is) seeks to support their party’s candidate. That’s expected (though it annoys me to no end when they pretend to be a non-partisan gay group rather than a partisan advocate).

If Kors wants to promote Jerry Brown on his merits, then he should do so. If he wants to oppose Meg Whitman due to inadequate support for gay Californians, more power to him. But don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

I am suffering from no delusions. There is no question that Jerry Brown is more supportive on marriage equality than Meg Whitman. But let’s be truthful about what she has said, what she has done, and what she can and will do.

Here is how Whitman describes her position:

So as you know I am pro-civil union and not for gay marriage. And just for me, that term marriage, for me needs to be between a man and a woman.

And while “Yes on 8 supporter Meg Whitman” did not campaign for Proposition 8 or in any other way support Yes on 8, she did vote for the initiative. And when Proposition 8 passed, she took a bit of a middle stance. (LA Times)

Explaining her support for Proposition 8, the November measure that banned same-sex marriage, she called it a “matter of personal conscience and my faith.”

But Whitman, a Presbyterian who supports gay civil unions, said the thousands of same-sex marriages that took place last year before the ban should be legally recognized — a sentiment opposed by many Proposition 8 backers. Moreover, she said, gay and lesbian couples should be able to adopt children.

When Perry v. Schwarzengger found Prop 8 to be unconstitutional, her response was rather bland:

Today’s ruling is the first step in a process that will continue.

What I see is a woman who is less supportive than Jerry Brown, but not an ardent foe of gay equality. She has pandered to the right in her statement on the appeal, but has not made anti-gay positions a part of her campaign. She was the most preferable of those running in the Republican primary, but falls short of seeing gay people as fully equal in society. She is not (as some partisan hacks have taken to calling her) homophobic, but her views are not as evolved as they should be and she is not an ally of our community.

Based on her positions on the issue of marriage equality, I could not endorse Meg Whitman.

But let me be perfectly clear: while I know that I’ll be accused of “defending” Meg Whitman, that is not my intent. Really, this commentary isn’t about Whitman at all; rather, it is about being lied to.

I hate being lied to, I really do. But I especially hate having my sexual orientation manipulated dishonestly by “gay leaders” for partisan gain.

It’s almost enough to make me vote for a third party candidate.