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11.5.06

In Which I Give Up On The Other Republicans

An open letter to Howard Dean:

Chairman Dean,

Your failure, and the failure of the Democratic Party under your leadership, to stand up for the rights of gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans is deeply shameful. At a time when the party should be articulating a clear progressive vision, you have been more concerned about pandering to the bigotry of the right wing. As a heterosexual man with a conscience, I find your efforts on this issue disappointing at best.

When you were chosen as Chairman, I hoped your experiences as Governor of Vermont had taught you how important it is to give enthusiastic and uncompromising support to LGBTQ Americans. Instead, you have sold them out.

I will save my vote for a party with an actual progressive agenda.

Sincerely,

Stentor Danielson


The Democrats' spinelessness covers a broad range of issues, from the environment ("status quo now!") to foreign policy ("we were for it before we were against it") to immigration ("what massive series of protests?"). But the gay rights issue is the one that really gets my goat. Not because it's necessarily the most important issue, but because it's the easiest. Environmental policy, for example, is hard, because you have to navigate through a host of institutional complexities and scientific uncertainties to work out a system that reliably safeguards nature. But the next few steps that can be taken on a political/legal level with regard to gay rights are clear once you recognize the moral imperative to support LGBTQ people: come out affirmatively in support of marriage equality, and adding sexual orientation and gender identity to antidiscrimination laws. That's all I'm asking. Don't bury it behind a lot of talk about the importance of traditional families. Don't cop out by saying it should be decided at the state level (as if the Democratic Party doesn't run candidates for state-level offices).

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