Wash. Post editor won’t defend or explain endorsement of NOM-backed candidate

The Washington Post’s endorsement of NOM-backed candidate Delano Hunter has caused a firestorm of criticism. We blasted it here. Over the weekend, Kerry Eleveld took a whack at it, too, stating “When The Washington Post endorsed Delano Hunter for D.C. City Council it endorsed homophobia by justifying his stance against marriage equality.”

The author of the Post editorial, Joanne Armao, tried to downplay Hunter’s homophobia despite his deep ties to one of the nation’s leading homophobic organizations. NOM exists to be homophobic. Jeremy Hooper posted the mailer sent by NOM in support of Hunter. It’s homophobic.

Michelangelo Signorile invited Armao to be a guest on his show today to discuss the editorial. She refused. Armao told Signorile’s executive producer David Guggenheim that the editorial speaks for itself and she wouldn’t be in a position to elaborate or discuss how much (if anything) the Post knew about NOM’s relationship with Delano Hunter.

Okay, then.

Ms. Armao would only have to do a search of her own paper to know about NOM’s relationship with Hunter. It’s been reported here (that one actually includes the homophobic mailer from NOM) and here.

Well, Ms. Armao has quite a perch at the Washington Post’s editorial page. She shouldn’t tell Washingtonians that marriage equality doesn’t matter. And, she shouldn’t be telling us that Hunter isn’t a homophobe when his campaign’s existence is so deeply tied to NOM.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Wash. Post endorsed NOM-backed candidate for City Council

DC is holding its primaries on Tuesday, September 14th. In this city, winning the Democratic primary is tantamount to winning. So, it was disconcerting to read a Washington Post editorial supporting NOM’s candidate in Ward 5, Delano Hunter over incumbent Harry Thomas:

We give the edge to Mr. Hunter, an engaging newcomer who is running a grass-roots campaign. He has an intimate knowledge of the needs of the ward and has smart ideas on how to tackle issues such as truancy and joblessness. Mr. Hunter is not a supporter of marriage equality, but he is not the homophobe his critics make him out to be, but rather someone who thinks there is a way to provide equality for gays while respecting the beliefs of religious groups. He said he would not seek to change the law.

That’s an outrage.

Since DC passed marriage equality, NOM and its allies have been doing everything they can to thwart the law. The latest tactic has been to demand a public vote on marriage. That was one of the themes of NOM’s pathetic tour stop at the Capitol last month.

And, guess who was there to support NOM? Delano Hunter. I was at the NOM event:

After the NOM event, I really felt like I needed a shower. These people are filled with hatred towards the LGBT community. They can claim otherwise, but it’s clear. They’re driven by hatred.

Now, it may not matter to the Washington Post who Hunter chooses to pal around with, but it does to the LGBT community. NOM has chosen Hunter to be its shining example of how to defeat pro-marriage incumbents. According to Bob Summersgill at GLAA Forum, “Delano Hunter is now NOM’s only hope of unseating a Democratic councilmember.”

Jeffrey Richardson, President of DC’s Gertrude Stein Club, lays it out:

In my mind this endorsement was not only an endorsement of Mr. Hunter, but it was a slap in the face to the DC LGBT community and an endorsement of those who oppose marriage equality and who are actively working to divide our city over the issue.

Mr. Hunter cannot take money from the National Organization for Marriage and participate in their campaign organizing efforts; taking the stance that he is fighting the “Gay Agenda and trying to keep San Francisco and New York values out of DC” and not be considered a homophobe.

How dare Joann Armao and the other members of the Washington Post editorial board tell members of the LGBT community; that since Mr. Hunter isn’t a major homophobe by their standards we should get over it and let it go.

The Washington Post has the right to endorse whomever they desire based on whatever criteria they establish, however you don’t get the right to tell the LGBT community what is and what isn’t homophobic.

Exactly. And, we know what NOM’s doing. They’ve been backing Hunter for months. The group has really pushing his campaign. Last week, NOM sent a misleading mailer to residents in Ward 5, as reported in the Washington Post:

Some Ward 5 residents today found a message in their mailbox from council candidate Delano Hunter: “Thousands of dollars from homosexual activists outside Ward 5 are attacking Delano Hunter because he supports our right to vote on whether the District legalizes ‘gay marriage,’” reads the mailer, which illustrates a river of cash flowing from “New York City” and “San Francisco” into the ward.

Hmm. If there’s “thousands of dollars” from New York City and San Francisco, it’s not flowing into the bank account of incumbent Harry Thomas Jr., who last year voted to legalize gay marriage.

Campaign finance records show that there have been no contributions from San Francisco deposited into the Thomas coffers. He has accepted ,150 from individuals and groups from New York City, but there’s no evidence of the gay agenda — 0 came from pharma giant Pfizer, another 0 came from the Service Employees International Union, and 0 from midwifery advocate Ruth Lubic.

By the way, this message was brought to you by the National Organization for Marriage — a national lobby group that takes money from lots of folks from, well, outside Ward 5.

Hmm. Sounds like NOM is spewing its usual homophobia to influence this election. Haven’t heard Hunter condemn NOM’s lies. Seems like someone who wasn’t really a homophobe would be outraged by NOM’s homophobia.

It’s stunning that the Washington Post had the audacity to tell us Hunter “is not the homophobe his critics make him out to be.”

I’m judging Hunter by the company he keeps.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright