It’s right for my community. It’s right for meAround the City, Commentary, Top Highlights Thursday, January 30th, 2014
A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article for this magazine entitled “That was then. This is now.” (Issue 138, Jan. 16) I asserted that the national political trend is to address large issues like income inequality, global warming and justice for workers in mayoral elections. I opined that San Diego would take a giant step backwards if it became the only one of the twelve largest cities in the U.S. to elect as mayor a Republican politician whose party platform is undeniably misogynistic, homophobic and destructive of the middle class. I decried the idea that people who self-identify as Democrats and leaders of the LGBT community would betray the undeniably progressive majority of the LGBT community in order to curry favor with established powerful interests.
I hoped the essay would spark discussion and debate about leadership in our community and putting self-aggrandizement ahead of the real interests of the LGBT community. Hundreds of readers liked or shared the essay and several people congratulated me for “Saying what has needed to be said for a long time.”
I wanted Nicole Murray Ramirez and other “leaders” to justify taking a position that seemed counter to the interests of the LGBT community. I wanted Nicole and others to justify co-opting Harvey Milk’s name to support a right wing candidate whose positions on neighborhoods, workers, women and LGBT folks were contrary to everything Harvey Milk stood for. I wanted them to explain why they are encouraging LGBT people to vote for a man who will not repudiate his party platform of homophobia and misogyny. I asserted that the motivation for supporting Kevin Faulconer might have less to do with looking out for the community than it did with an attempt to hang on to power.
Nicole’s response was not to address a single substantive question I raised, but rather to unleash a vitriolic personal attack on me. According to Nicole, I am a big old lyin’ lesbo meanie. He doesn’t like me and neither does Todd.
Sigh. I guess, in a way, that response did answer my questions about leadership. It was not the way I had hoped for.
So, let me try again to urge the LGBT community to consider the following thoughts:
We have serious problems of income inequality, climate change, an embattled middle class and crumbling infrastructure that are especially impactful to LGBT San Diegans. We need to address these problems now. We don’t have the luxury of coddling the party of religion based right wing fanaticism against LGBT and women’s rights. The idea that supporting Republican candidates will somehow allow us to soften the positions of the increasingly hardcore Republican Party sounds all warm and fuzzy. In reality it is a self-defeating strategy that has not worked and will not work going forward.
In the time period since my last article three gay Republicans have given up on the Republican Party. Among them, the co-founder of GOProud, Jimmy LaSalvia, who said the Republican Party was “beyond fixing.” If we want the Republican Party to cure itself of the disease of homophobia and misogyny, the only workable prescription is repetitive elective failure.
This is how I think we should do it: If you think marriage between same-sex citizens is wrong; don’t marry someone of the same sex. If you think abortion is wrong; don’t have one. Otherwise, keep your church and the government out of my private life. And until you do, I am not electing anyone from the party that has a platform that enshrines homophobia and misogyny. Period.
Now let’s move on to solving some critical problems and making a better world.
I am voting for David Alvarez for mayor of San Diego. It’s the right thing for me and for my community.
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