| Activists will "turn their back" on the openly gay candidate
by Brian Leubitz
Carl DeMaio is certainly something of an enigmatic figure. He's openly gay and extremely conservative. Ok, I get that there are gay Republicans, but this one takes money from Prop 8 donors while promising them he "won't push the gay special agenda" like the current Mayor, Jerry Sanders. Sanders, as you may recall, testified in favor of Marriage Equality in the Prop 8 trial. DeMaio, well, apparently being gay is enough as it is cool to through his community under the bus to become Mayor. One example:
DeMaio apparently saw no irony in accepting the endorsement of Roger Hedgecock, the former San Diego mayor who was forced to resign after he was convicted on 13 felony charges related to campaign fraud and perjury. Ultimately, a court overturned 12 of the charges on technical grounds and let Hedgecock plead to a misdemeanor for the 13th-but the fact remains, his mayorship ended badly.
The same can't be said for Hedgecock's career as a right-wing-radio blowhard. Peddling hate and fear has paid off with national broadcast deals. The LGBT community sees the irony, especially when it comes to DeMaio's sexuality. In 1986, Hedgecock said he wouldn't march in the San Diego Pride parade because he blames gays for "the worst plague that we have had in Western culture since the Black Death in the 16th century." In 1994, Hedgecock sued Pride on behalf of "normal people" who wanted to march in the parade. In 2009, Hedgecock wrote a column that mocked the idea of homosexuality being a civil-rights issue.
DeMaio also has other supporters that won't exactly be popular at this weekend's San Diego Pride Parade. But beyond that, Demaio's partner, Johnathan Hale, has something of a checkered past. He's had a couple of different names along with a rap sheet that includes a felony conviction for burglary. And this actually matters.
It is rather interesting that DeMaio and Hale haven't received more attention. I have to imagine that if Gavin Newsom's spouse had a rap sheet, it would have come up in 2003 when he was running for Mayor. Yet, for some reason, the mainstream press in San Diego seem reluctant to cover it. If elected, Hale would likely have access to even more sensitive information than he does already.
I won't lie, when given the choice between two relatively equal candidates, LGBT status really does matter to me. Yet DeMaio's record is so odious as to become meaningless. I know that Bob Filner while not a member of the LGBT community, will do a far better job representing it.
This weekend is Pride in San Diego, and local activists will be turning their back on DeMaio.