Friday, June 29, 2007

Hot off the internets

Party politics
After his partner criticized the Democratic National Committee for not doing enough on gay issues, Donald Hitchcock lost his job as the group's director of fund-raising from gay donors. Coincidence? Hitchcock thinks not. He sued the DNC, chairman Howard Dean, and two others this May—and speaks here for the first time anywhere about what happened to him.

By Dan Allen

An exclusive posted June 29, 2007

Party politics

In May 2006, Donald Hitchcock was fired by the Democratic National Committee as director of its Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council—less than a week after his partner, fellow Washington politico Paul Yandura, e-mailed high-level Democratic donors and suggested they withhold financial support from the DNC in protest of the group's apparent neglect of antigay ballot initiatives. Hitchcock, whose role was to raise funds from gay donors, claimed his sudden dismissal was retaliatory, but the DNC denied the charge. Indeed, in an Advocate interview at the time, Dean suggested that Hitchcock's poor job performance was to blame.

This May, after settlement negotiations failed, Hitchcock filed a lawsuit in District of Columbia superior sourt against the DNC, Dean, treasurer Andy Tobias (who is gay), and deputy finance director Julie Tagen, alleging retaliation, defamation, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Again, the DNC denied the allegations.

Hitchcock hasn't spoken publicly about his firing or the lawsuit, but in this exclusive interview he finally breaks his silence, maintaining the DNC ousted him unfairly and charging that other perceived wave-makers at the group faced similar strong-arm tactics. And in a bittersweet twist, he reveals that his replacement at the leadership council, Brian Bond, sought strategy advice from him after he was dismissed.

The Advocate: Let's start at the beginning: Did you have any knowledge of Paul's letter before he sent it?
Hitchcock: No, I did not.

If you had, would you have tried to stop him from sending it?
Well, first of all, when it happened I was in New Orleans at the Democratic National Committee meeting, so he was doing it on his own. And Paul has his own credentials to criticize the party. Paul worked in the White House [as an aide to the Clinton administration], he was the executive director of the Stonewall Democrats, and he was actually hired by Andy Tobias as the first GLLC director for the DNC. And anyone who knows Paul knows that me wanting to stop him wouldn't stop him. He's his own political entity, and he's been in politics in D.C. for 13 years.

And within days of Paul's letter you were asked to leave the DNC.
That's right. I was asked to leave by Julie Tagen. She pulled me aside as a friend and asked me to resign. What I found out [later] was that there was a strategy to ask me to resign. It wasn't just a friend talking to a friend; it was an effort and a discussion that had occurred with some other DNC employees. She had already asked me to keep Paul silent. And because I couldn't keep Paul silent, I feel I was asked to resign.

The DNC has said that it was your poor job performance, not retaliation, that lead to your dismissal.
The derogatory comments were to cover up what the DNC had done to me and to try to shame me for something that Paul said. They continually attacked me, thinking I wouldn't defend myself. They had to cover their tracks to make it look like they weren't punishing me for somebody criticizing the party.

Was there any indications up to that point that your superiors were unhappy with your job performance?
No, there was no problem with that. I didn't have any negative performance reviews. I've never been written up, and I was never reprimanded. So that all came out of the blue.

What did you think when you read Howard Dean's comments in The Advocate last year alluding to your poor job performance?
It didn't surprise me, because there was already that kind of talking point coming out of the DNC. The fund-raisers had been doing that for some time. Ultimately they're just trying to raise money from our community. It was actually a sad, shameful thing for Governor Dean to say, because there was no poor job performance review or any sort of criticism of my performance while I was at the DNC.

What was the most shocking aspect of how things went down?
That the fund-raisers in the Democratic Party feel that they can't be held accountable for defaming somebody, and they're exempt from consequences when they go out and slander people that used to work for the Democratic Party. This lawsuit's about holding them accountable and holding the Democratic Party to our values.

Have things changed at all for the better at the DNC since you've left?
I don't think so. What a lot of people don't know is that Brian [Bond] asked to meet with me a few months ago to discuss the strategy of what's happening within the DNC. Brian even called Paul and asked if he'd keep up the outside pressure during the delegate selections rule fight, because the senior staff was working against the gay community's desires. Brian specifically asked that Paul keep up the pressure so that we didn't get screwed in the process. He will obviously deny this, because if he doesn't, he'll be fired. But during the court proceedings everyone will be under oath--including myself--and I look forward to shining some sun on this.

Joseph Sandler, who's representing the defendants in your suit, has said that the DNC won't respond publicly to your charges, and has asked people to keep in mind that “everything you see may well be one-sided for a while.” How do you respond to that?
One thing we should point out is that it's been one-sided from them for a long time. Now the community is actually seeing two sides to this issue. I've been silent over the past year around my firing. I've been talking about policy issues of substance. Unfortunately, the DNC believed I wouldn't protect myself and they could act with reckless abandon in order to keep money flowing. I've always held the Democratic party to a higher ideal. I walked into the DNC building expecting more out of the Democratic Party. The easy thing for me now would be to walk away and be quiet, because we've been meeting people who have done just that. As we're telling our story, they're saying, “That happened to me [too]”--not with regard to LGBT discrimination, but personal attacks and defamation against anyone who stands up to the party.

All under the Dean regime?
That is under the Dean regime. Several people have approached us where this has happened to them, and we're referring them to our lawyers.

Do you worry that this could affect fund-raising for the DNC going into 2008, especially given that the presidential campaign has already begun?
Well, I'm a loyal Democrat, and I want to help the Democratic Party. I think this lawsuit can help the Democratic Party get better on our issues. Honest conversation can only move us forward. The DNC could have settled this privately. I approached them at least five times before going public, but the DNC lawyers or senior staff refused to settle out of court.

Can you talk at all about the settlement you tried to reach?
I don't want to go into details, but the settlement was really not about money. The settlement was clearing my name and setting the record straight about my job performance at the DNC and also asking DNC agents to stop defaming me. There were no hard lines in the sand. It was just about coming to the table and having a responsible conversation and being honest about what's happened so we could all move forward. But it's obviously the stubbornness and arrogance of their senior staff that prevents them from coming to the table. For them it's all about money, and that means fighting this with a P.R. spin campaign and trying to keep this from hurting their fund-raising. For me, it's about doing the right thing, having the right values, and expecting our party to have the values that we all espouse.

How has this experience affected your career?
When this happened to me I kind of reevaluated where I was at. It's hard to say, because the DNC fund-raisers have spoken to a lot of influential people about my job performance. I actually am very interested in the Democratic movement and staying in the LGBT movement, and I do not want to be criticized when I speak on policy issues moving forward--and this is what has been happening. I'm back in school getting a master's in public policy, but I'm not going anywhere.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The graduate

This is Jo on the right with our friends, Morty and Carol. They convinced Jo to go to school at the National Labor College where they teach. They all completed the circle on Saturday.

Next thought

Finally coming back to some senses after taking two days to get back from DC this weekend. Of course, I feel dumber than a box of rocks but managed to survive the terror of flying American through Dallas. My sister and I spent the night at the Sleep Inn in Dallas after our flight was canceled. Would it be so hard for an announcement that the flight is canceled?

I certainly slept better last night because Paris was out of jail, how about you?

I predict the head of the California Hypocrites, I mean Republican party will resign on Friday afternoon. I also would like to see Elizabeth Edwards run for President since she supports marriage for my team. Ms Marinucci scored both those scoops. Funny how Media Matters was all up in her koolaid that she was so anti-Dem by cherry picking her articles then she gets to prove otherwise.

This was enough to make me kick up my heels today. The Senate Judiciary slapped Bush and his homeboys with subpoenas. Oh yes, let the howling begin.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's office Wednesday, demanding documents and elevating the confrontation with President Bush over the administration's warrant-free eavesdropping on Americans.

Separately, the Senate Judiciary Committee also is summoning Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to discuss the program and an array of other matters that have cost a half-dozen top Justice Department officials their jobs, committee chairman Patrick Leahy announced.

Does anyone else think that it is really early for Presidential endorsements? I am waiting all this out to see who makes the first stumble.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sunday night in DC


I can't stand it. The pompous Republicans of California are getting their asses handed to them. The now former treasurer of the Rethugs was arrested for immigration violations according to the Chronicle. I just love it when the irony is just too, um, ironic.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Here is the link to the Elizabeth Edwards story in the Chronicle. I am blogwhoring myself.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

SF Pride

There will be an article about San Francisco Gay Pride in tomorrow's Chronicle. What a shock.

But they are going to be highlighting the fact the Elizabeth Edwards will be there in the parade. I think that shows some political sophistication for both sides, the lgbt community and the Edwards campaign. I think this is wonderful news.

Memory lane

Today was a really great for a stroll down memory lane. I got to talk to a friend from high school and see another friend from college. Both were great strolls down memory lane, getting to catch up a little from times when we remembered more, weighed less and life was a little less complicated. Of course, I am having this nice memories without including all the times I got sick from drinking too much, got into trouble with the law and was barely able to function due to some combination of whatever.

But I did escape fairly intact from that time of my life, having learned a few lessons. It was really wonderful though to reconnect with these women. I am looking forward to having more catch up time with both of them in the very near future.

In the meantime I am flying into Darth Vader's capital tomorrow. Today the blogoshpere took notice of the fact that Cheney doesn't live by the rules of the rest of the country, let alone the executive branch. He now insists that his office is not part of sad branch so therefore rules don't apply to him. Please check out TPM Cafe here for further clarification of the new form of government in place. And thanks to Rahm Emmanuel for producing this chart with the suggestion that Cheney move out of the White House if he is not part of the Executive Branch.

I am also happy to provide this link showing that since I am the oldest child, I am the smartest. Drum roll please.

New research wholeheartedly agrees with Big Sis - she's much smarter than you are.

Scientists reported Thursday that first-born children, including those who become first after an older sibling dies young, tend to be smarter than subsequent offspring.

Now I will go read the comics.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The irony is breathtaking. Bush vetoes stem bill legislation:
"America is a nation founded on the principle that all human life is sacred."
Unless of course you are anywhere near Iraq or Afghanistan.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Today I went to the podiatrist to confer about my continuing foot pain. I had surgery on it two months ago and I am in more pain now than before. The doc told me the surgery didn't work. I am shock, I think. His next suggestion will elicit a roar from people who know me personally, wear shoes with an inch and a half heels. That's like going in drag.

He gave me a couple of shots in each foot. I could have gone through life without experiencing this medical procedure cus it REALLY hurts! This is the 5th time I have done it. So with any luck or maybe I should light a candle (anyone know who the patron saint of feet would be?) then I will get through a couple of museums in DC without crying my eyes out in front of all the other tourists. If not, you will know who I am on the mall, weeping away. Too bad they don't have little scooters to take around the museums. This gives me an excuse to sit in front a Dutch painting or two for a long while.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday Monday

Immigration is on the table again this week in DC, at least in the Senate. In discussing this with one of my colleagues, we were feeling very deflated. What is being proposed now is really bad and we think it will get worse. Then somehow the House will magically fix this pile of crap. I don't believe it will happen that way.

What I think will happen is that the rocket scientists at the White House will try to get their bloody fingerprints all over this legislation and will, once again, be wrong about every single element. Families will be ruptured, the US will again look like a selfish, greedy, hateful country and nothing good will come out of it. That is my optimistic view point, too.

But I will be traveling to DC this weekend to see my spouse graduate from college. I am glad she made it to the finish line on this one. My sister will be joining us and we will do some touristy things on Sunday. I hope to not melt in the humidity.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

We won!

Yeah we won we won we won! Now the marriage certificate can go on the wall. No can take it away.

Donald 2.0

June 15, 2007

Ex-outreach head sues Democratic Party for anti-gay bias.

by Eric Resnick

Washington, D.C.--The former director of LGBT outreach at the Democratic National Committee is suing the party and three high level employees for discrimination by sexual orientation, retaliation and defamation.

Donald Hitchcock was fired last year after his partner, former Clinton administration official Paul Yandura, criticized the party for not doing enough on LGBT issues, particularly state marriage ban amendments. Yandura claims that the party viewed gays as primarily a source of donations.

Hitchcock, who worked for the DNC from June 2005 to May 2, 2006, says the party violated the D.C. Human Rights Act, which bars employment discrimination by sexual orientation. He says that besides firing him, they paid him less than non-gay employees doing similar work, and made false public statements that he was not doing his job.

He sued the DNC, its chair Howard Dean, its openly gay treasurer Andy Tobias, and deputy finance director Julie Tagen in District of Columbia Superior Court on May 1.

The defendants answered the complaint May 31, denying all the allegations.

Hitchcock says that in February, 2005, Dean led a restructuring of the DNC that included eliminating his LGBT outreach position, but not the outreach positions to other Democratic Party constituency groups. That action has been widely criticized.

Hitchcock was then hired to fill a new position as the director of the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council in June, 2005.

The conflict began when Hitchcock realized he was not being supported in the new position by the DNC and was being left out of key meetings.

In his complaint, Hitchcock repeats the claim that the DNC did not want to do political work with the LGBT community, and that the new position was, instead, all about fundraising.

Yandura, now a Democratic fundraiser, continues to be critical of the DNC, telling LGBT contributors that under Dean, the community is not being better served, only better solicited for funds.

“If your goal is simply to elect Democrats, then give to the Democratic National Committee,” Yandura told the Gay People’s Chronicle in March. “But if your goal is to make the Democratic Party better on LGBT issues, then your money should go to supportive state parties and independent LGBT groups like the Stonewall Democrats.”

The lawsuit says, “Mr. Hitchcock never received a budget or any senior staff support on LGBT issues. It was clear that the DNC’s highest priority for Mr. Hitchcock--and LGBT Americans--was securing financial contributions.”

According to the suit, Tagen blamed Hitchcock for failing to stop Yandura from publicly criticizing the party. Hitchcock says she told him “not to fight this fight” and that he was “going to get fired.”

Six days before Hitchcock was fired, Tagen sent an e-mail to Yandura saying he had done “a huge disservice to [Hitchcock].”

Hitchcock contends that the D.C. non-discrimination law was violated when Tagen blamed him for what his partner was doing.

“DNC had never fired James Carville for exceedingly critical statements made about the Democratic Party by his wife, Mary Matalin, counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney,” the complaint reads.

“Other heterosexual DNC employees or consultants also continued working with the DNC despite critical comments that they, or their close relatives, made about the Democratic Party,” it continues.

Hitchcock contends the DNC did not fire Sandi Jackson after her father-in-law criticized the party in 2006, and did not terminate consultant Donna Brazile after she criticized the party.

“Thus, the DNC treated Mr. Hitchcock differently because he is gay,” the complaint continues.

The suit also points to Federal Election Commission records showing that Hitchcock was paid $2,156 bi-weekly as the LGBT outreach director, while non-LGBT constituency directors were paid $2,508.

The records also show that DNC paid its former finance director Lindsey Lewis, who is gay, $500 less per week than his heterosexual replacement Carl Chidlow.

The suit also alleges that the DNC, and especially Dean and Tobias, told reporters and contributors that Hitchcock’s firing was due to poor job performance, and that Tagen told other DNC staff that Hitchcock had made racially insensitive comments suggesting “it’s gays against blacks.”

Hitchcock accuses the three of lying about him in order to create a pretext to move him out once Yandura’s comments began getting traction.

Hitchcock wants a jury to determine the amount of his award, which includes compensatory and punitive damages. He also wants retractions of the statements made on his job performance and racial insensitivity, and a public apology.

He is represented by attorney Lynne Bernabei of the Bernabei Law Firm in Washington and three of her associates.

The DNC, Dean, Tobias and Tagen are represented by Joseph Sandler of Sandler, Reiff, and Young in Washington, and chief DNC counsel Amanda LaForge.

Sandler issued a written statement saying the DNC will not respond outside the legal process other than, “[Hitchcock’s] charges have no merit and that DNC is committed to defending its position vigorously in court.”

“We regret that we cannot say much more publicly and we ask that readers of this and other publications keep in mind that since the DNC is not able to speak publicly about the case, everything you’ll see may well be one-sided for a while.”

The case is before Judge Robert E. Morin.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


H/T to Pam for this report from Human Rights Watch on the anti-gay violence in Russia

Ms Marinucci reports about the California GOP hiring a Canadian to be deputy political director. Yours truly is quoted in the article. I can hardly wait for the fallout.

Yesterday I had the chance to visit with my former Governor, now Presidential candidate. Bill Richardson. He gave me crap as usual which I always enjoy. The joust is fun. He got some good press here. And not so good press in DC.

Meanwhile I am trying to control my nuclear tomatoes in the back. I bought a huge tomato cage to try and corral the biggest one. It has grown over two other cages so far. I don't even like tomatoes.

Monday, June 11, 2007


The new Vanity Fair came today. I am always happy to sit down and read the monthly dirt, wrapped in perfume and designer labels. But this one is different. Bono has edited this edition. It as all about Africa.

My first reaction was so American, "I don't want to read about Africa." Then I started reading it. I still need to digest more but I think may get over myself enough to figure out ways to get more involved in the One campaign.

Sign up at One campaign. Change the world tomorrow.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

SJ Pride

It is San Jose Pride weekend. I spent the better part of the day at the festival. Unlike my brother, Nikolai Alekseev in Moscow, I am able to go to Pride, not be harassed, have conversations witht he police and not worry about getting beaten up or thrown in jail. Tomorrow I will be back at it, registering people to vote, sticking rainbow Democratic stickers on people and having a great time.

Happy Pride!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Hello friend

A visitor to my yard.

Moscow court

I am sure this will elicit another response from the reader writing in Russian who thinks I am stupid. However, here is more from Moscow regarding the court cases for the activists arrested while trying to hand the Moscow mayor a letter.


I wrote this to submit to the San Francisco Chronicle. It is now irrelevant.

Spring is a wonderful time to be in California. The air is fresh with rose scents. The stores are brimming with fresh fruit. Those cherries look wonderful don’t they?

But how do you think those cherries got to Safeway? Where did there journey begin and whose hands picked them from the trees? In the heat, for long hours for not so much pay.

That’s right, there are immigrants involved in bringing all kinds of goodies for us to enjoy, fish, fruit, vegetables, flowers to enrich our California experience.

Those same people’s fate is being argued about right now in Washington, D.C. The threats to our future safety that is being painted by some of our Senators is really a threat to the fabric of this country.

Let’s face, the immigration system is broken. Thousands of Filipino families have to wait over 20 years for the reunification of their families. There is a monstrous backlog of citizenship applications which the federal government has not been able to reduce for years. There are many arguments about the border, none of which will be solved by unmanned drones flying over the southern borders. Remember the woman you walked by today at the bus stop with two small children? Imagine her walking across the desert with those two children, trying to give them a better life.

There are already bad laws on the books right now regarding immigration. So we don’t need more bad laws. The current debate in both the House and the Senate should be about good reform not just reform for reforms sake. That’s like shaving your head because you want a new hair do, doesn’t necessarily work well and yes, there is a new ‘do but it is really a “don’t” OK think of a certain pop star.

There are 12 million people, yes, they are people, who live in the US who could become citizens. The path currently set out is similar to the Iron Man Triathalon of bureaucracy and money. Think of the guy who washes your car and think what it would take for him to earn and save $5000 to pay for the application.

How many people do you see each day going to work, to school, the store. How many are here legally? Do you care that they pay the same prices at the gas station as you do? Pay the same for BART or those lovely cherries at the farmer’s market?

Of course this is a nation of laws but how may people did you see today running a red light, jaywalking, or speeding? Can we please get back to being a nation of immigrants, unified in our desire to see our children have a better life?

Support good, humane immigration reform. Ask your federal representatives to act humanely and remember that child at the bus stop who really just wants some chocolate and a hug from her parents.

Another Paris

I know everyone is jumping up and down about Paris Hilton being sent home and now sent back to the big house. Everyone is judgmental, talking about what an ass she is.

Two points to make about this. 1. This society created Paris Hilton. WE made her a star for doing nothing but being rich. Then folks are all upset when she acts this way. Get a clue, this is a societal issue. 2. This child needs some help. She no doubt has a drinking problem and needs help. She is sick. Plus she didn't weasel her way out of the slammer, the sheriff did this.

I have been in this situation. It is really no fun waiting to go to jail for being a f/up. Maybe someone will say the magic words to her, "You don't have to live like this." Maybe she will change, who knows. But enough with the self righteousness. That's boring too.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Richardson's reply

Here is my former Governor's reply to HRC's questionnaire.
2008 Presidential Questionnaire

Candidate Name: __Governor Bill Richardson______________________________________

1. Currently, there is no federal law protecting individuals from job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Qualified, hardworking Americans can still be denied job opportunities, fired or otherwise be discriminated against just because of their sexual orientation in 33 states and because of their gender identity in 42 states As president, would you support and work for passage of a federal bill that would prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity?
_Support Comments: I am committed to protecting all hardworking Americans from employment discrimination. Early in my administration as Governor of New Mexico, I recognized that the civil rights of the sexual minority community must be protected, and that no American should suffer discrimination for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. As Governor of New Mexico, I fought for such protection in 2003 by signing into law an extension of the New Mexico Human Rights Act to grant employment protections for our citizens, regardless of an employee's sexual orientation and gender identity.

2. Currently the federal hate crimes law does not protect all Americans from bias-motivated violence. Would you support federal legislation that adds sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability to existing federal law giving authority to the federal government to investigate and prosecute violent crimes (H.R. 1592)? This authority already exists for crimes committed because of the victim’s race, color, religion and national origin and because they were attempting to exercise a federally protected right.
_Support Comments: Again, it is clear in this new century that the civil rights of American sexual minorities must be protected the same as other minorities. In New Mexico, I stepped up to the plate by successfully fighting for the New Mexico Hate Crimes Act, which I signed into law in 2003. Where there was no protection for the GLBT community before, the law of New Mexico now enhances criminal sentences for criminals who are motivated by hate due to the victim's actual or perceived age, gender identity, handicapped status, or sexual orientation.

3. New treatments have improved the quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS, but those treatments are expensive, and not available to everyone who needs them. Years of flat-funding for the Ryan White Care Act has forced states across the country to institute waiting lists, limit formularies, and other cost containment measures. The CARE Act provides access to life-saving treatment and care for over half a million low-income Americans with HIV/AIDS. Would you support increased funding for this critical program?
_Support Comments: In America, the treatment of people with HIV/AIDS has had a shameful history. As the disease spread during the 1980’s, Republican administrations ignored the problem and community activists spent countless hours trying to get funding for this urgent health care crisis. Yes, I would support increased funding to treat Americans with HIV/AIDS through the CARE Act, but my administration will also work tirelessly to address the larger issue -- to make high-quality health care affordable for every American, regardless of their health status.

4. Would you support the Early Treatment for HIV Act (ETHA), S. 860, federal legislation that would allows states the option to provide Medicaid coverage to low-income, HIV positive Americans. Currently, only Americans that can be considered disabled are eligible for Medicaid coverage, excluding those who are HIV positive but have no symptoms of the disease?
_Support Comments:

Would you support increased funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and research?
_Support Comments:

5. Would you support the Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act which would create a federal grant program to channel money to states that choose to teach comprehensive and age-appropriate sex education for America’s students that includes science-based prevention methods?
_Support Comments:

6. Currently, only Massachusetts recognizes equal marriage rights for same sex couples. Do you believe the civil institution of marriage (with absolutely no requirements imposed on religious institutions) should be made legally available to two committed adults of the same sex?
_Oppose Comments:

If you do not believe that civil marriage for same-sex couples should be made available to same-sex couples on the same basis as opposite sex couples, is there any legal construct you do embrace that would extend legal recognition to same sex couples?

Comment: I am on record supporting domestic partnerships in New Mexico. As a matter of fact, when the regular legislative session adjourned this last session in 2007, I called a special session of the legislature and placed domestic partnerships legislation on the agenda, among other matter. Unfortunately, the legislature was unable to reach an agreement, but I remain committed to the legal recognition of domestic partnerships.

If a state has taken the steps to recognize same sex couples and their families for purposes of state-based benefits, rights, privileges and responsibilities (such as marriage in Massachusetts and civil unions in Vermont and Connecticut), should the federal government recognize the state’s legal recognition of such couples and families for purposes of federal benefits and tax treatment?
_Support Comments: The law of the land now recognizes that personal family relations are a protected part of our liberty rights as Americans, as expressly held by the United States Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. In terms of marriage and family relations, states have generally recognized other states’ family laws and the federal government should do so as well.

7. According to a 2004 GAO report, over 1,100 benefits, rights and privileges are provided to married couples and their families in federal law that are not available to same-sex couples. Do you support extending federal benefits, rights, privileges and responsibilities to same-sex couples (and their children) provided the partnership meets certain federal standards of commitment and mutuality of interest?
_Support Comments:

Specifically, do you support the expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover domestic partners and their children?
_Support Comments: I believe that all employees in equally committed long-term relationships must enjoy the same employment benefits offered to married persons, including FMLA benefits.

Do you support modifying the Social Security System to pay survivor benefits to the same-sex partners of gay and lesbian people?
_Support Comments:

Do you support fair and equal tax treatment of same sex couples on the same basis as married couples?
_Support Comments: This is one of the last bastions of discrimination against sexual minorities: unfair tax penalties based on sexual orientation marital status. In order to mitigate the unfair tax penalties that they suffer, sexual minorities incur additional legal expenses in drafting wills, powers of attorney, real estate documents, pension plans, trusts -- all to compensate for the lack of adequate recognition of civil unions in the tax code. My administration will seek fair and equal tax treatment for same-gender families, so they have the same tax benefits as traditional, married couples.

8. Many gay and lesbian people serve in the federal government but do not receive the same health insurance and other employee benefits of married couples. Do you support domestic partner coverage for gay and lesbian employees of the civilian federal workforce?
_Support Comments: As Governor of the State of New Mexico, I signed into law Executive Order 2003-010 establishing employment benefits for domestic partners of New Mexico State employees. My Executive Order recognizes both opposite-gender and same-gender domestic partnerships and extends health, dental, and vision benefits to domestic partners of state employees. As President, I will do everything I can in my administration to extend benefits to federal government employee domestic partners.

9. While 47 states allow gay and lesbian people to adopt children, some legislators are pushing to prohibit capable, committed adults from adopting because of their sexual orientation. As president, would you support giving appropriate judicial authorities the full authority to make decisions on adoption based on the best interest of the child, without bans based solely on sexual orientation?
_Support Comments:

10. Would you support the Uniting American Families Act which would enable an American citizen to petition for immigration sponsorship for a same-sex partner, and the INS would treat the relationships between opposite and same-sex couples in the same manner under the immigration code?
_Support Comments:

11. Would you support a congressional repeal of the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy which would allow gay, lesbian, and bisexual soldiers the right to serve openly in the military as is currently the policy in nearly every NATO country (H.R. 1246)?
_Support Comments:

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Gloves are off

I have known Donald Hitchcock for years. Our history goes back to when he and Paul first started going out. From the first I thought he was a very nice, gentle man who was a committed activist with a real moral center.

Donald has now sued his former employer, the Democratic National Committee (DNC). In a past life, he was the outreach person to the LGBT community for the DNC. But he was fired, coincidentally, right after his partner, Paul Yandura, published a letter to donors asking them to stop giving money to the DNC because they were not helping the lgbt community. As in not helping with all the anti-gay propositions around the country, as in taking queer money but not giving anything back.

So this is the irony to me of this whole situation. The DNC did not help to stop anti-marriage propositions and we lost in every single election, out spent, out organized, kicked to the curb. But yet they want to treat our relationships as if they are equal. Donald and Paul were then treated as if they had equal privileges and equal rights so therefore Donald becomes responsible for Paul. 2 + 2 does not equal a queer three dollar bill. The DNC cannot have it both ways. You're equal when we want you to be equal but we will not pay you the same and won't treat you the same as say James Carville/Mary Matalin.

In full disclosure, I have known both Paul and Donald for double digit years. There has been some speculation in other places that Paul is a Log. Not that there is a problem with being a Log but you don't know Paul. He was head of the Stonewall Dems for a while, was the LGBT outreach desk for both Clinton campaigns. When I stay in DC, I try to stay at their home because they are fun, treat me well and we can gossip endlessly. They have always been helpful with whatever I have been doing there.

The lines have been drawn now. Stay loyal to a person who runs the party or stay loyal to your tribe. I have picked my tribe.

Friday, June 01, 2007

It's over

The homo world as we know it has ended. Halloween in the Castro is cancelled.
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