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Thread: Lawsuit exposes rift between gays & blacks in the DNC

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Lawsuit exposes rift between gays & blacks in the DNC

    Lawsuit exposes rift between gays and blacks at the DNC


    Not surprisingly, gays and lesbians have favored the Democratic Party in recent elections. The Democratic platform, after all, commits the party to full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of the country. The Republican platform, on the other hand, proposes limiting marriage to a man and a woman.

    But an increasingly nasty lawsuit against the DNC, brought by Donald Hitchcock after he was fired as the party’s gay and lesbian outreach director, has exposed the rift between gays and one of the party’s most important constituencies, African Americans.

    DNC Chairman Howard Dean describes the rift in his deposition in the lawsuit, a portion of which was just recently posted on YouTube and is causing more than a little political heartburn as the party prepares to nominate Barack Obama as its first African American for president.
    In the video, Dean describes how he has tried to be a peacemaker between gays and lesbians and prominent African American leaders, led by onetime Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile, who had objected to goals and timetables for gay and lesbian delegates to the party’s national convention.

    “I wanted equal representation for gay and lesbian Americans, and I wanted to achieve it in a way that wasn’t offensive to the history of the civil rights movement,” Dean says in the deposition, which was videotaped in March but only made public a week ago.

    Hitchcock’s lawsuit, bad enough politically for the Democratic Party, has taken another turn for the worst for the DNC, at least in terms of publicity during an election season. Negotiations for a possible settlement collapsed last Thursday and the case is now headed to trial - unless, of course, settlement talks resume.

    However, in a letter sent this week to the DNC’s lawyer, John Hardin Young, Hitchcock’s attorney, Tara Jensen, claims Young assaulted her following a mediation session in the Superior court for the District of Columbia. In the letter, Jensen claims Young spit on her face and told she should “know her place.”

    Hitchcock was fired by the DNC in May 2006 after his domestic partner sent an open letter to gay Democrats criticizing Dean and suggesting that gays should temporarily withhold donations to the Democratic Party.

    In his suit, filed 11 months after the firing, Hitchcock alleges that the DNC discriminated against him and that he was a target of retaliation and defamation - allegations the DNC has repeatedly denied.

    NPR: Lawsuit Exposes Rift Between Gays, Blacks in DNC
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    “I wanted equal representation for gay and lesbian Americans, and I wanted to achieve it in a way that wasn’t offensive to the history of the civil rights movement,”
    wtf does that mean? lol
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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    wtf does that mean? lol
    I think what was meant by that statement is that he doesn't want his movement to be compared to the civil rights era movement, that this is a civil rights issue on its own.

    Reason being that I believe that whenever things of this nature have been done in recent times, if someone made the analogy to the Black Civil Rights movement of the 60's, that person would be criticized because the Black civil rights movement was of such monumentally historical importance and signficance. The sentiment being, do not compare anything as being similar to something so important as the Black civil rights movement.

    At least I think that is what is meant, I hope so.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Yeah wtf ever. It IS just as important. Ask black gays.

    Idiot.

    *slaps dean*
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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Hey I totally agree with you Grimm, I just think they're trying to be politically correct and prevent any controversies.

    This article from a while back explains some of the issues nicely:

    Speaker links gay, civil rights - The Stanford Daily Online

    Speaker links gay, civil rights

    January 21, 2005
    By Francie Neukom
    Would Martin Luther King Jr. have supported the present struggle for gay rights in America? Absolutely, argues Keith Boykin, a former advisor to President Bill Clinton who spoke at Tresidder last night about the connection between the gay rights movement and the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
    Boykin, president of the National Black Justice Coalition, came to Stanford as part of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration sponsored by the Black Community Service Center.
    He criticized blacks who oppose gay rights, saying they are using the same arguments against homosexuals that whites used against African Americans.
    “Black ministers quote passages from Leviticus about it being a sin to lie with another man, and yet many southerners used quotes from the Bible to justify slavery in the 19th century,” Boykin said. “They forget that one of Dr. King’s closest advisors, Bayard Rustin, was openly gay and Dr. King was a very religious man.”
    According to Boykin, discrimination against gay people is perpetuated by some of the most prominent black leaders in America. He believes it is a mistake to separate gay rights from civil rights.
    “A lot of people think of these two issues differently,” he said. “Colin Powell claimed he was against banning blacks from the military but not gays because sexual orientation is the most fundamental of behavioral traits, whereas skin color is a benign, non-behavioral trait. But I think that in America, skin color has never been a benign trait. In 1948, they were arguing the exact opposite to try and keep blacks out of the military.”
    Boykin thought King would be in complete support of the current movement for equal rights for homosexuals.

    “King was all for challenging the status quo and using power to change things for the better,” he said. “A few years ago, a black southern minister organized a march against gay rights that started at King’s tomb, and I knew he must have just been turning in his grave.”
    Many people fail to see the correlations between the two movements, Boykin said, because the nature of the struggles show differences.
    “A lot of African Americans say, ‘Gay people don’t have to sit at the back of the bus, so it’s not the same,’” he said. “But women never had to sit at the back of the bus. Neither did disabled people. And yet people support those groups having equal rights.”
    Boykin concluded his talk with a personal anecdote about faith.
    “My grandmother was opposed to my sexual orientation because she was religiously conservative,” he said. “And yet when my first book was published, she made the minister announce a local book signing of mine.”
    “I think it was because she took the message of the Bible to heart, as Dr. King did — to love everyone equally, no matter their race, religion, or sexual orientation.”
    Boykin is the author most recently of the book “Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies and Denial in Black America.”
    “Keith’s message is central to our mission,” junior Anetl Okonkwo, publicity coordinator of BCSC, said. “Within the events of the celebration, we wanted to represent all kinds of diversity found within the black community.”

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