October 19, 2016 at 7:46 pm EDT | by Terry Michael
Why do LGBT voters ask so little of Hillary?
Gary Johnson, New Mexico, Republican Party, CPAC, Conservative Political Action Committee, gay news, Washington Blade

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gov. Gary Johnson (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

LGBT voters have serious alternative candidates to consider for president and vice president, Gary Johnson of New Mexico and Bill Weld of Massachusetts, former Republican governors in Democratic states, now Libertarians. But many gay voters seem willing to settle for a pat on the head from a woman who so often has found herself running to the front of the gay Pride parade, trying to catch up with the culture.

Hillary Clinton’s “public” positions, we are informed by WikiLeaks, have not been consistent with her “private” beliefs, on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the egregious Defense of Marriage Act.

I have been a member of the Washington gay community since 1975, coming to work as press aide to a new Democratic congressman. In the 1980s, I was press spokesman for the Democratic National Committee. From that experience, I am baffled how organizations supposedly representing us have positioned the LGBT community as an adjunct to the Democratic Party.

Whenever a minority group allows itself to be taken for granted, it loses leverage. Our “leaders” may get invitations to the White House, ego-satisfying pats on the head. More often, we get kicked in the butt, told to be grateful because the other party is so terrible.

The prime example of LGBT organizations seduced by the Democratic Party and The Clintons is the Human Rights Campaign — the other HRC — and its executive director, Chad Griffin, a Clinton crony from Bill’s hometown of Hope, Ark.

Griffin has ridden the coattails of Bill and Hillary, rising to head of the HRC and, as reported by the Blade, receiving $429,411 in compensation in 2013 — a then 40-year-old paid more than the leader of the free world.

Rising from a 19-year-old press aide for Clinton, Griffin can be relied on to deliver an impression of gay support at HRC’s annual dress-to-impress dinners. The theme for 2015 was “Stronger Together,” not coincidentally Mrs. HRC’s campaign slogan. It was held Oct. 3, 2015, when she was still running for the Democratic nomination against Bernie Sanders, whose opposition to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and DOMA was early and often, dating to The Clintons’ White House years.

About two weeks after the dinner, Clinton claimed the discriminatory directive and law were “defensive actions,” as reported by the Blade on Oct. 24, 2015. A Washington Post fact checker on Oct. 28 Clinton’s claim that DOMA was signed to “head off” a constitutional amendment. Post writer Michelle Ye Hee Lee gave Clinton “Four Pinocchios” for her creative attempt to rewrite history.

Griffin’s HRC isn’t the only organization getting into bed with a political party. Log Cabin Republicans have been no profiles in courage this year, letting themselves be taken for granted by the GOP, refusing to condemn Trump.

Many gay citizens are not single-issue voters. In addition to important social issues, economic/fiscal concerns and foreign/national security policy are as important to many of us as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and DOMA.

As a “libertarian Democrat,” I not only want the government out of my bedroom. I favor keeping it as far away as possible from my bank account, my body and the backyards of the rest of the world.

As a Democrat who refuses to be taken for granted, I’m working for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. In December 2011, still running for the GOP presidential nomination, Gov. Johnson announced his support for gay marriage. That contrasts sharply with Clinton, who didn’t offer her “public” approval until just weeks before the Supreme Court ruled against DOMA in June 2013, and almost a year after President Obama announced his support for marriage equality. Gov. Weld was well known for his support of gay rights when he was chief executive in Massachusetts from 1991-97, overlapping most of the Clinton White House years.

It’s now all but certain Donald Trump isn’t going to be president. So LGBT voters should not be assumed for Clinton. Gay support for Johnson and Weld will be principled votes for two leaders whose “public” positions are the same as their “private” civil libertarian views.

Terry Michael is senior media adviser for Johnson-Weld 2016. Founder of the Washington Center for Politics & Journalism, he was chief press spokesman for the Democratic National Committee from 1985-87. Reach him at terrymichael@terrymichael.net.

12 Comments
  • This isn’t just about Hillary (although I support her fully). This is also about Trump. He plans to contest the election results, and the more soundly he is defeated, the harder it will be for his protest to gain traction. If we want to see the utter defeat of Trumpism — of racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, etc. — he must lose resoundingly on November 8. So third-party votes (not to mention actual votes for Trump himself) aren’t just wasted votes: these votes contribute to the continuation of hatred as major party’s platform. Please do not prolong this agony in our country. Let’s defeat Trumpism so overwhelmingly that the country knows it is a dead-end philosophy.

    • Even though wikileaks revealed this was part of the dnc ‘s plan to elevate and give credibility to trump? What excuse will you champion next term to solidify their power and fair weather convictions on LGBT issues?

      • I am completely unconcerned about Wikileaks, given we’ve discovered they are dumping “documents” doctored by Russia. Again, NOTHING outweighs completely defeating the current Republican party, so it can have the opportunity to reconstitute as a viable 21st century party. I will continue to disagree with all it’s policies, but at least it will be a principled disagreement.

        • No, they are not dumping documents doctored by Russia. One russian news outlet changed the details of a document *publicly* released by WikiLeaks. If wikileaks were really doctoring documents, the DNC would be shouting from the rooftops with the original versions, but they aren’t, because they are originals.

          The Republican party I agree, is becoming quite irrelevant, but the Democratic party, has absolutely zero concern for the long term viability of social security, health care, and other benefits millennials are paying into but will not benefit from. The debt is currently sitting at 20 Trillion (With a T) dollars, and is only expected to grow faster as Democrats push even more simultaneous foreign wars. (Currently its 8 countries I believe).
          You can’t blame Bush forever for what Obama, and now Hillary is expanding on.

  • Your alternative candidates have zero chances of winning so why should GLBT voters throw their votes away? This could be a tight election. We cannot take for granted that Trump has no chance of winning. People are just as determined to keep Hillary from winning. Elections typically have been about picking the lesser of two evils.

    This election is about keeping Donald Trump out of office and his supporters (our enemies) out of power!. A trump win would be detrimental to all the advancements we’ve made over the decades! There is too much at stake to not take this seriously!

    Stop living in bubble before it pops in your face!

    • The Democrats hold several unshakeable leads in many states. So if a small portion of the population votes on principal it sends a strong message to Hillary who can’t seem to demonstrate any conviction in this area.

      • If your an insignificant portion of the population then voting against her is not a strong message. Your principled convictions help no one really but trump. They are naive and miss the big picture goal. We don’t need Ralph Nader effects in a tight election!

        The last thing needed is a situation like gore’so drawing out the election and the angst that goes with it.trump is already counting on it!

        Trump by far has the least principle! He is the one that needs the message!

        • It’s not insignificant given the millions of dollars the DNC has spent *specifically* targeting against 3rd party candidates. Even a 5% popular vote on election day will elevate them from alternative party, to ‘minor’ party status , further attracting millennials that the DNC just can’t seem to impress.

          And why do you assume voting 3rd party only helps Trump? Johnson and his running mate are both accomplished 2 term republican governors. A significant portion of their supporters are reluctant Trump apostates. Discredit them, and their supporters go back to Trump.

          And what ‘big picture’ are we missing? That always supporting, voting for the lesser of two evils each election brings us to exactly where we are today? And Gore didn’t lose due to Nader. He lost due to the tens of millions of people who voted for Bush. Gore didn’t even win his home state, and exit polls showed Nader voters would have voted Bush in higher numbers over Gore.

          If Hillary wants to earn peoples votes on LGBT, she needs to have a consistent message based on principals that don’t change with the latest polling results each cycle.

          • Bottom line. Voting for a third party candidate gets you no change either because they NEVER win and your candidate won’t either.

            You may as well just stay in bed!!

            it helps trump because the election looks tight and the narrower the margin the more likely he’s unwilling to concede!

          • Not true, even a 5% showing in the polls, puts them in a different category, opening them up to federal funding and ballot access, causing main candidates to acknowledge these different views.

            On the other hand, only voting for main candidates you think might win, is exactly why we are in the situation we are in.

          • Who cares if the main candidates acknowledge them or not? That only has an impact on fantasy land. Once elected, they no longer need to care! They’ll stick to their agendas!

            Want change, kick out the tea party from congress, then we won’t have endless gridlock or an endless round of voting on issues like the healthcare act repeal!

  • If you haven’t seen all of the shilling for Democrats in this publication, you must have a gift for selective reading. But heaven forbid we should have diversity of opinion, right?

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